By Mahnaz Abdi

Proper ground for investment making prepared at ports of Iran

September 23, 2020 - 12:34

TEHRAN- Iran, which has adopted the strategy of boosting its non-oil export to counter the U.S. sanctions on its economy, has many programs underway for the development of its ports, regarding the significant role of the ports in the promotion of exports.

In this regard, the country has the attraction of investment to the ports on agenda, and despite the restrictions and limitations created by the outbreak of the coronavirus, Iranian ports managed to attract 3.57 trillion rials (over $85 million) of investment in the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-June 20).

The mentioned investments have been done mainly with the aim of developing and maintaining infrastructure and equipping ports.

Also to facilitate business in the country’s ports, 2.836 trillion rials (about $67.5 million) was invested by the private sector in the form of five contracts during the said period.

Accordingly, the total amount of non-governmental investment in the country's commercial ports has reached 161.235 trillion rials (about $3.83 billion) in the form of 333 contracts.

Meanwhile, as announced by Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO)’s Deputy Head for Ports and Economic Affairs Farhad Montaser Kouhsari, investment in the country’s ports increased by 61 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19) compared to its preceding year.

According to the official, in the past few years, PMO has changed its approach and strategies from authority and ownership to supervision and support and that has had a great impact on the involvement of the private sector in the port projects and has increased the level of investments.

All such measures have led to an increase in exports via the ports.

As recently announced by a provincial official, export of non-oil products via Chabahar port, in the southeast of Iran, has increased 95 percent during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-August 21), compared to the same period of time in the past year.

Behrooz Aqaei, the director-general of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, where the strategic port lies, said that the rise in the exports has been resulted through providing some equipment and preparing some infrastructure in the port.

Lying on the coast of the Gulf of Oman in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Chabahar is the country’s only oceanic port, and given its strategic location in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) development of the port is of high significance for Iran.

Meanwhile, preparing the ground for investment making in the ports is meeting the satisfaction of the private sector, whose investment making is of high significance.

A member of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mine and Agriculture (ICCIMA) has recently said that the ports enjoy proper potential and capacity for investment making.

Mehrdad Bazargan although stressed that the administrative bureaucracy should be reduced in the ports, and the maritime capacities should be paid more attention.

Sha’ban Foroutan, another ICCIMA member, has also said, “The ports of the country have become more active now and the PMO’s cooperation with the traders and private sector’s investors has been improved and is satisfactory at the moment; so, in order to expedite the development of ports, I recommend the reduction of bureaucracy.”

While the PMO plans to attract more investment of the private sector, this sector’s intention also promises the expansion of investment making in the ports.

In a recent remark, Kouhsari has mentioned the PMO’s plan for the attraction of the private sector’s investment in the ports and announced that the organization has planned to attract 18 trillion rials (about $428.5 million) of investment to the ports in the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20), of which nearly 3 trillion rials (about $71.4 million) has been already attracted.

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