Japanese government plans to invest in the development of the Port of Chabahar in south-eastern Iran. The agreement for Japanese participation in the project is expected to conclude during the visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran this year, but the country officials expressed their readiness to support the port construction. Japan International Cooperation Agency is working on a proposal to invest in development projects in Port of Chabahar and industrial zone, which will be presented for discussion with Iran and India before the end of this year. Japan believes that Chabahar can become a logistics hub for the markets of Iran, Afghanistan and resource-rich Central Asian republics, including Turkmenistan with its rich reserves of natural gas.
India and Iran agreed on joint development of the Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan, but the project was slowed down international sanctions against Iran. For India, the project is of strategic importance, as the port will open access to the sea for Afghanistan – a country with which connected the strong economic and strategic interests of India.
Last year, a delegation of Japanese companies visited the port of Koji Haneda in Iran and said that will provide all possible support to the projects of Iran in the field of maritime, rail and infrastructure. The both countries signed a bilateral agreement in February on investments, which give the Japanese companies open access to the Iranian market. The agreement provides for the guarantee of Iran for Japanese investment in the Iranian economy.
Port of Chabahar is a seaport in southeastern Iran, located in the Gulf of Oman. It is the only Iranian port with direct access to the ocean. The port was partially built by India in the 1990s to provide access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan. The Indian-component of the port is also part of the Ashgabat agreement, signed by India, Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, for creating an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.