1136 GMT June 26, 2022
The project dubbed the Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkey container train made an important headway on Saturday as the first international freight transport train arrived in Tehran and set off toward Turkey the next day.
Considering Iran’s geopolitical position, the transit of goods, whether by air, land or sea, is one of the most significant economic and cultural capacities of our country.
In addition to being economically significant, the recently launched transit route is a symbol of agreement and coalition to cooperate and transfer goods and passengers between the countries involved.
The importance of railway lines is essentially threefold. The first aspect concerns tourism. In other words, railway lines prepare the ground for attracting more tourists and foreign currency inflows to periphery countries. A lot of tourists usually want to enjoy a lengthy, peaceful journey to several countries, and trains are the best way of achieving that.
Railways are also important because, as a vehicle for carrying passengers between countries, trains are much cheaper than other alternatives.
The third and most important aspect pertains to the capacities of trains for transporting cargo and goods. What adds to the importance of the Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkey transit route is the fact that Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are landlocked and do not have access to open waters. Hence, railways are the most fitting and economical method for trade exchanges and transporting goods from these countries to other parts of the world. As such, it is to the benefit of every country located along this transit route to increase the carrying capacity through expansion of cooperation, whether they export goods, import goods, or collect transit tax.
The Central Asian countries generally produce cereals, cotton, minerals, and fuel. The Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkey transit route facilitates the transport of goods to Iran, Turkey, and Europe. What is more, projects of the like reinforce ties between countries.
The transit route will bring remarkable benefits to Iran, too. The amount of direct foreign currency inflows will depend on the volume of goods or passenger it transports. Another economical significance of this project for Iran is the possibility it opens up to import necessary raw materials and minerals for Iranian power plants and factories, especially in the northern provinces. The transit route also allows Iran to export its goods and minerals and exercise its right to impose transit tax.
Therefore, the advantages of the Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkey transit route, or any other transit route for that matter, are not to be found exclusively in what directly relates to it. The peripheral aspects of the route can attract economic resources to the country and, as such, are also of significance.