Free zones absorb over $9.7b of investment in 7 years

July 18, 2020 - 13:54

TEHRAN- Free trade and industrial zones of Iran have absorbed 410 trillion rials (about $9.761 billion) of investment during the past seven years, the deputy head of Iranian Free Zones High Council for economic affairs told IRNA on Friday.

Ahmad Jamali said that the amount of investment made by the state-run and private sectors in the free zones has been noticeable in recent years, highlighting that the private sector’s contribution has been outstanding in this due.

The official further put the value of domestic investment made in these zones at 100 trillion rials (about $3.38 billion) and the foreign investment at $200 million in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19).

Earlier this month, the secretary of Iranian Free Zones High Council Morteza Bank said that eight new free trade zones (FTZ) are going to be established across the country.

“Currently, in addition to the current eight free zones, the creation of eight new zones is on the agenda, and we can certainly benefit from the capacities of the [Transport Ministry’s] Research Center in this regard”, the official noted.

Bank made the remarks in a gathering of the heads of the country’s FTZs with experts from the Transport and Urban Development Ministry’s Research Center in Tehran.

Speaking in the meeting, the official underlined the significant role that the Transport Ministry’s Research Center can play in the development of the country’s free and special zones and said the studies conducted by the center provide the ground for future cooperation.

“We can have productive cooperation for the development of standards and regulations, as well as the issuance of technical certificates,” he said.

Establishment of free trade zones in Iran dates back to the 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 the 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.

In recent years, considering the important role that free and special zones play in promoting the country’s export and employment, Iran has been seriously pursuing the development of its existing FTZs and the establishment of new zones as well.

More development measures in this field have been taking since the U.S. re-imposition of sanctions on the Iranian economy in November 2018, as Iran is reducing its dependence on the oil income while elevating its domestic production and non-oil exports.

MA/MA

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