By Afshin Majlesi

AFZ has potential for launching air taxi service: tourism expert

September 22, 2019

TEHRAN – There is a potential for launching air taxi service in Arvand Free Zone, southwest Iran, as the region enjoys the presence of businessmen, travelers, investors as well as foreign nationals, local tourism expert Mahmoud Navaser told the Tehran Times.

Covering 37,400 ha, Arvand Free Zone is situated northwest of the Persian Gulf at the confluence of the two major rivers of Karun and Arvand and it shares border with Iraq and Kuwait as well, Navaser explained.

The free zone also encompasses the cities of Minushahr, Khorramshahr and Abadan, he added.

“Abadan and Khorramshahr have long been considered as centers of trade and commerce in Khuzestan province, and now the two cities annually welcome many businessmen from across the globe...Tax exemptions have significantly incentivized investors to be active in the free zone.”

Vast tourist capacities of Abadan, Khorramshahr and Minushahr, as well as hospitality and warmth of the people in these cities, is the reason behind arrivals in the region, which attaches great importance to the development of transportation, Navaser added.

“There is no doubt that the growth of the tourism industry is dependent to the development of the transportation system. Today, a criterion for measuring the level of development of any country is its transportation infrastructure, and it is impossible to expand tourism without paying attention to the infrastructure required by the industry.”

Arvand Free Trade Zone in the southwestern province of Khuzestan is one of the seven major free trade zones of Iran. It has long been one of the border and oil rich zones of the country due to the existence of freshwater rivers of Karun and Arvand and also transportation facilities including road, rail, sea and air. Lands of this Zone have been allocated to industrial activities, and other sectors, such as trade, tourism and office, to ports, warehousing and transit, and investors can invest in any of the economic activities.

Establishment of free trade zones in Iran dates back to Iranian calendar year 1368 (March 1989- March 1990) following the fall in the country’s oil income in the preceding year which prompted the government to promote the non-oil exports.

The first two free trade zones of Iran were established in the south of country. The first one was Kish Free Trade Zone established in 1368 on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf and the second one was Qeshm Free Trade Zone established the year after on Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz.

Some five other free trade zones have been also established in the country since then, including Chabahar in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Arvand in southwestern Khuzestan Province, Anzali in northern Gilan Province, Aras in East-Azarbaijan Province and Maku in West-Azarbaijan Province, both in the northwest of the country.

AFM/MG

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