Will Iran-Afghanistan Trade Corridor benefit both the regional superpowers, India and China? China’s infrastructure projects pertaining to transportation are giving a big boost to Afghanistan’s economy and agriculture and India and China are set to benefit from the trade corridors between Iran and Afghanistan.
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China has been investing heavily in transportation and infrastructure projects in Central and South Asia which will assist Afghanistan to develop to better. In lieu of that, the modern trade corridors between Iran and Afghanistan will boost the Indian and Chinese economy, immensely.
Afghanistan’s land corridor to Chabahar Port gives India a strategic sea connectivity with Afghanistan. This port will also create a key corridor between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Also, the air corridor between India and Afghanistan will facilitate a parallel and more direct trade route.
China’s Twin Economic Corridors Will Hold The Key
As for China, the twin economic corridors of China run from north-south through Pakistan to the Gulf and east-west through Iran to Turkey. To put it simply, Iran’s Chabahar Port and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port are game changers in terms of geopolitical regional power.
Iran and China will be connected through Afghanistan once the Kunduz-Mazhar-e-Shale railway project is complete. Afghanistan is relying heavily on exports to China as confirmed by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In the larger picture, the trade corridors between Iran and Afghanistan will greatly benefit China.
To provide Afghanistan with a better exposure for its agricultural exports, an air corridor through India is already available. Through this, Afghanistan easily exports its fruits and herbs to South Asia.
Afghanistan is also mulling to initiate monthly cargo flights to Sri Lanka so as to facilitate two-way trade with the Island nation. The lack of cold chain logistics network is hampering commerce and these nations would like to quickly address this issue to reap greater benefits.