President Ashraf Ghani, who arrived in Zaranj city in western Nimroz province on Sunday morning, inaugurated the first Afghan cargo which will be sent to India through Chabahar Port in Iran.
The shipment 570 tons of goods which are being carried by 23 trucks.
Addressing a ceremony in Zaranj, Ghani said that with the opening of the Chabahar route, the country’s exports will increase to $2 billion from the current $1 billion in the next year.
“Today, Nimroz is turning from a deprived province into a key province,” Ghani said as he pointed out to the importance of the Chabahar Port for Nimroz.
Ghani directed relevant institutions to start work on improving Nimroz from a third-grade province to a second-grade province.
Chabahar Port is a key trade port, providing Afghanistan with direct sea access. In May 2016, India, Iran, and Afghanistan signed an agreement on the establishment of a Transit and Transport Corridor among the three countries using Chabahar Port as the regional hub for sea transportation.
Last year in February, Iran said it had agreed to lease operational control of Chabahar to India for 18 months and in June, India’s Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said India is trying to make Chabahar fully operational by 2019.
Afghanistan is not a landlocked country; it is the heart of Asia, Ghani said, adding that Afghanistan is turning from an importer to an exporter country.
Indian ambassador Vinay Kumar said at the ceremony that Afghanistan’s exports to India have increased by 40 percent after the launch of air corridor between Kabul and New Delhi.