ArmInfo. Armenian Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies Vahan Martirosyan, Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Seyed Qazem Sadjadi and CEO of South Caucasus Railway CJSC Sergey Valko discussed the prospects of multimodal transportation of cargoes from Europe to Iran and vice versa.
On November 19, 2016, two cargo transporters were delivered to Poti (Georgia) by sea and then by railway to Yeraskh station of Armenia, from where they were delivered to Iran by trucks. The experimental transportation helped the Armenian side and its partners to analyze the problems arising on the way and try with joint efforts to overcome all the obstacles, which affect time and speed of the transportation. The program on increasing amounts of international freight forwarding via territory of Armenia is one of the Transport Ministry's priority tasks. Cargo transporters were delivered from Poti to Yeraskh in 38 hours, which is a quite good result," the Ministry said.
The press office of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies has told ArmInfo that Vahan Martirosyan presented the program of Europe-Iran and Iran-Europe multimodal transportation to the Ambassador of Iran. Sergey Valko, in turn, presented the advantages of the program, pointing at the safety of transported goods and the affordability of transportation. The minister offered the Iranian Ambassador to inform the Iranian business community of the prospects of the program, and to strengthen the ties in the field of cargo transportation.
Ambassador Sadjadi noted that he personally visited the Yeraskh station of the Armenian railway and familiarized himself with the capacities of the terminal. He expressed willingness to familiarize the Iranian businessmen with the given type of transportation as quite an efficient model.
Martirosyan suggested holding a roundtable involving the two countries' businessmen and discussing the directions of business contacts.
The Iranian Ambassador said that a delegation of Iranian businessmen will shortly pay a visit to Armenia.
Earlier, during a press conference on December 19, Minister of Transport, Communications and IT of Armenia Vahan Martirosyan said that it was planned to launch the 2nd stage of the program to organize transportation from Iran to Europe. "We hope that the program will become commercial next year'', he noted.
To note, within the project of multimodal transportation it is planned to organze delivery of Iranian goods by highway transport to Armenia (Yeraskh), from where the goods will further be transported by railway to Georgian harbors in Black Sea and further to Europe. By the Armenian President's decree a prompt political decision was made on construction of Agarak-Sisian asphalt automobile road instead of concrete one aimed at the rapid construction of that part of the road. This section is the most difficult, it will allow cutting the road by 70 km and the time by 2.5 hours. It is planned to finish construction within maximum three years. In this case it will be managed to achieve maximum activity on this direction, as Armenia can offer opportunity of railway connection unlike other countries. Modernization of the road from Sisian to Yeraskh will create the opportunity of using railway. The station in Yeraskh will be equipped with large terminals, in which Iranian businessmen are already interested. Delivery of goods to Yeraskh and further by railway station to Georgian Black Sea will be cheaper by 500 USD for 1 ton of cargo compared to the route offered by Azerbaijan.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in Jan-Nov 2016 the Armenian-Iranian foreign trade turnover amounted to $219.3 mln (down 13.4% versus Jan-Nov 2015). Exports dropped by 6.1% to $70.2 mln, and imports fell by 16.5% to $149.1 mln.