'Iran cargo transit revenue to hit $12 bn'
Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi
Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi says the Islamic Republic's annual revenue from the transit of goods will increase to $12 billion in the near future.
Rahimi made the remarks on Saturday at the inaugural ceremony for a tunnel linking the Persian Gulf port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province to Sirjan in Kerman province, IRNA reported.
"Iran will earn revenue of $12 billion when the volume of goods transported through the country reaches 40 million tons annually," he said.
The global annual revenues from the transit of goods currently stand at $13 trillion, a small share of which belongs to the Islamic Republic, Rahimi added.
He noted that one-third of the global revenues from the transit of commodities -- $4.1 trillion -- belongs to Asia and Europe, less than 0.5 percent of which is Iran's share.
"Iran is a bridge between important countries in the world and 111 countries transport their goods via Iran," the Iranian first vice president added.
He went on to say that Iran's annual revenues from the transit of goods is $3 billion less than the country's estimated potential, adding that the government is trying to raise transit revenues to the level of oil industry revenues.
About seven million tons of goods were transited through the Islamic Republic in Iranian calendar year 1388 (March 21, 2009-March 20, 2010), he stated, adding that the figure increased to 9.5 million tons the following year.
Rahimi said the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have 40 million tons of wheat surpluses, noting that Iran can increase its revenues by building silos in the north and the south of the country and expanding its transit routes.
Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that about 10 million tons of commodities were transported through the country in the previous Iranian calendar year (March 2010-March 2011).