Iran and Italy are exploring possibilities for launching a key shipping route that could help increase trade between the port of Chabahar, in southeastern Iran, and Venice, in northern Italy.
A visiting delegation representing a major Italian
transportation group had met officials from the organization earlier in the day
to discuss plans for the shipping route.
PMO chief Mohammad Rastad said the Iranian government would
support plans for the route as it seeks to frequent Chabahar as a key trade hub
on the mouth of the Sea of Oman.
Rastad said load and unload capacity in Chabahar, a port
where India is also making considerable investment, would reach 50 million
tonnes a year from the current 8.5 million tonnes.
He said a railway project connecting the port to Zahedan,
near the Iranian-Afghan border, would significantly boost trade between the
Indian Ocean and countries in the Central Asia region.
The Venice Maritime Cluster, a major transportation group
based in Italy, is behind plans for setting up the sea route connecting
Chabahar to the major Italian port.
Secretary General of the group Paolo Malaguti told Iranian
authorities on Sunday that there was a high potential in Chabahar and its
adjacent special economic zone, saying both Iran and Italy would benefit from
establishing the shipping route connecting the port to Venice.
He said Iran and other countries in the region could use the
shipping route to export their products to countries across Europe as a railway
that connects Padua, near Venice, to other parts of the continent would provide
huge facilities for trade groups operating on the route.
Malaguti said Italy and other European countries were also
aiming to use the route for increased exports via Iran to Central Asian