Maku free zone exports commodities, services worth $34m in 6 months

October 20, 2020 - 10:11

TEHRAN- Maku Free Trade and Industrial Zone in northwest Iran has exported commodities and services valued at $34 million during the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 21), according to a local official.

Ebrahim Jalili, the deputy head of Maku Zone Organization for investment and economic affairs, named Germany, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iraq as the export destinations of the mentioned products and services.

Infrastructures have been developed in Maku Free Trade and Industrial Zone in a bid to increase the country’s trade with its neighbors, Managing Director of Maku Zone Organization Mohammadreza Abdolrahimi said in mid-August.

The official said that Maku Free Trade and Industrial Zone was established in order to ease trade exchange with the neighboring states.

The infrastructure of the free trade zone has undergone major development to boost capacity for economic development, foreign investment and increasing public income, creating jobs, regulating labor and commodity markets, active presence in the global and regional markets, offering public services, and setting up manufacturing units to produce industrial and technology-based products.

“With effective engagement and befitting from technology and knowledge, we can achieve great success in boosting trade relations with the neighboring states and investment in the manufacturing sector”, the official noted.

Maku Free Zone in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan has 140 kilometers of border with Azerbaijan Republic and 130 kilometers border with Turkey.

As previously announced by Maku Zone Organization’s managing director, the value of exports from this Zone hit $60 million in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19).

Abdolrahimi referred to the target of boosting the exports from the free zones by ten percent and said Maku Free Zone has increased the exports by eight percent.

Saying that there are many capacities for production and exports in this zone, the official reiterated that boosting investment making in Maku will expand the exports, especially to the neighboring countries.

As Maku is among the most newly-established and also the largest free zones of the country, there is a high need for the creation of infrastructures in this zone, he has previously stressed.

Maku is one of the seven major free zones of Iran.

The 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.

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.

Considering the important role that the free trade zones play in promoting the country’s export and employment, Iran is seriously pursuing the development of its existing zones and 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.

Although the sanctions have disrupted Iran’s economic activities, they could not impede the development of Iranian free zones; in fact, the development of these zones has been even accelerated.

Many strides made for increasing activities in the free zones have played a significant part in boosting the country’s non-oil exports and brought prosperity in the other economic sectors.


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