Iran’s international sanctions have been removed and thus new potential for Iran’s economic growth is on the horizon. On Monday, the first train connecting Iran and China arrived in Tehran filled with Chinese goods and revived the ancient Silk Road trade route once again. The journey from eastern Zhejiang province, 5,900 miles long, took about 14 days to complete. That is 30 days less than the time it would take a sea voyage to traverse the waters between Shanghai and Iranian port of Bandar Abbas as per the head of Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi.
Tehran is not going to be the final stop of the train though. As per Aqayi, the idea is to further increase the routes into Europe thus allowing Iran to earn more money via the passing trains. The country has recently shipped off its first shipment of crude oil to Europe using shipping container.
China was among the few world powers that didn’t pose any sanctions against Iran and it doesn’t surprise us to find out that one-third of Iran’s foreign trade is being carried out with China who is also Iran’s top oil customer. As per a spokesperson from Iran’s rail company, the number of trains coming from China will be increased after starting from one every month. The leaders of both nations have signed a 10-year long, $600 billion trade partnership in January, 2016.
The Silk Road is an ancient trade route network that can be dated back to 220 BCE and connected China to Mediterranean Sea. In 2013, China’s President proposed the idea of creating a new Silk Road via Russia and Ukraine into Europe. The project has been titled as ‘One Belt, One Road’ and is China’s new national vision for enhancing its ties with Asia, Africa and Europe.