Officials from the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) have stressed the need for expansion of trade and transit relations between Afghanistan and India, saying it will help in economic growth of both nations.
According to investors and economic analysts, Afghanistan and India can boost trade and transit ties easily through Chabahar port, but the new US sanctions on Iran have changed the situation and now fewer investors are interested to invest in the port or use it for trade and transit purposes.
In an interview with TOLOnews, Jeffery Grieco, CEO of the AACC, said Chabahar port can play a vital for in expansion of Kabul-New Delhi trade and transit ties, but the new sanctions by the United States on Iran, which will affect trade and transit at the port, is a political issue.
He said the US sanctions on Tehran is something that Washington decides about and that AACC cannot do anything in this regard.
“There is a political side to the Chabahar port development and then there is a commercial side. We do not get involved in the political side that is based on the policies set by the United States,” said Grieco.
Officials from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said the country needs Chabahar port to increase its trade and transit ties with India and that more privileges should be given to Afghanistan in this respect.
The ACCI officials said that they have not been assured by the US embassy in Kabul that Afghanistan-India trade and transit relations through Chabahar will not be affected by the US sanctions on Tehran.
“We are not informed by the US embassy in Kabul that whether Afghanistan and India’s trade through Chabahar port will be affected by US sanctions on Iran and on which parts these sanctions will have their impacts,” said Atiqullah Nusrat, the CEO of the ACCI.
A number of investors meanwhile said new US sanctions on Iran should not affect other countries, especially investors.
The investors said if the US sanctions make the investors to suffer financial loss in trading through Chabahar port, most of the investors will stop using the port.
“We hope that Afghanistan and the region’s economy will not be affected by the US-Iran tension. We need to have a transit route from Iran to India and further,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, head of Industries Owners Association.
This comes as the ACCI officials said this month that following the new US sanctions on Iran, a number of investors have become reluctant in starting business and doing trade and transit through Chabahar port.