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Iran urges SCO countries to use its southern ports for faster and cheaper trade

Iran’s Acting President Mohammad Mokhber on Thursday urged the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states to use the country’s southern ports in the North-South Corridor for faster and cheaper trade with the world.

In his address at the SCO Summit held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, Mokhber stated that since transit and commercial activities are complementary to each other, Tehran suggests the creation of a “joint free zones network” and establishing economic agreements, such as preferential and Free Trade Agreements at the organisation level.

He mentioned that there are many opportunities and capacities in the territory of the SCO member countries in the field of trade, production, energy, transportation, agriculture, customs, telecommunications, as well as the development of technology in the field of artificial intelligence, for interaction, which should be used for the benefit of the welfare of nations.

Iran’s Acting President also opined that establishment of the “Shanghai Joint Bank” can improve the level of cooperation among the member countries in the financial and economic fields.

Iran also declared its full readiness to implement the operational programme of scientific and technological cooperation among the member countries of the organisation in priority areas, especially in the field of the latest medical technologies, biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

“I am confident that the decisions and agreements that will be made following the results of today’s meeting will play a significant role in increasing the level of coordination to jointly deal with current and emerging threats and challenges, as well as improving the level of cooperation between member countries in various economic, political, scientific and cultural fields,” he concluded.

In May, India had signed a 10-year contract with Iran to develop and operate the Shahid Beheshti terminal at Chabahar port – which serves as a vital trade artery connecting India with Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries – on the country’s south-eastern coast.