The 12th Meeting of High Level Working Group on Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Train was held virtually on 25th April, 2022 in Tehran which was jointly organized by the ECO Secretariat and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI).
The meeting was attended by the representatives of three ITI en-route countries, i.e Islamic Republic of Iran (host), Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Republic of Turkey. The delegation of the ECO Secretariat was headed by the Director of Directorate for Transport and Communications Mr. Akbar Khodaei.
The Chair of the meeting, Mr. Shahram Jafari, Director General for Foreign Commerce of Iranian Railways (RAI), highlighted the main points and while noting the importance of the Meeting underlined that in spite of facing some challenges, during this period organized 3 runs of ITI Train, which showed big interest from Governments and private sectors of the member states.
Mr. Akbar Khodaei, Director of Directorate for Transport and Communications of the ECO Secretariat in his welcoming remarks appreciated the RAI for hosting this important meeting and noted that the 11th Meeting of ECO Transport Ministers had commended the resumption of the ITI Train and called upon the stakeholders to further utilize the cargo train service for enhancing regional trade and, in this connection, expressed interest to explore maximum possibilities for the extension of the said corridor to Europe and China.
The meeting deliberated extensively the various topics, inter alia, the latest developments on the infrastructure and rolling stock capacity of en-route countries relating to ITI train service specifically rehabilitation of the Zahedan-Taftan-Quetta portion, latest status of establishment of the logistic center in Zahedan, tariffs, time table, nomination of further forwarders and standard operational procedures. The participants from the railways and forwarders also raised various technical and operational challenges of the ITI train and came up with recommendations to enhance the existing cordial cooperation among all the relevant stakeholders to increase the volume of trade on the route.
The ITI train’s initiative was made upon the decision of the 8th Ministerial Meeting on Transport and Communications held on June 28-29, 2011 at Ashgabat. Subsequently, the relevant High-Level Working Group consisting of Representatives from en-route Member States was established for further coordination to help materialize the ITI initiative.