Non-oil products worth $800m exported from Arvand Free Zone

November 17, 2020 - 12:25

TEHRAN- Non-oil commodities valued at $800 million have been exported from Arvand Free Trade Zone in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan during the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-October 21), according to an official with Arvand Free Zone Organization.

Seyed Ali Mousavi, the deputy head of Arvand Free Zone Organization for investment and economic affairs, mentioned fishery products, minerals, foodstuffs, fruits and vegetables, steel and various construction materials, as the major exported items, and said: "Most of these goods were exported to Iraq and the Persian Gulf countries."

The official said that commodities worth $183 million have been exported from the zone during the seventh month of this year.

Mousavi has also said that investment making by both Iranian and foreign investors has highly increased in Arvand Free Trade Zone.

Last week, he said that the zone has attracted 12 trillion rials (about $285.7 million) of domestic investment since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20), which has been 48 percent higher than the figure of the same period of time in the past year.

The official put the domestic investment in the zone at eight trillion rials (about $190.4 million) during the same time span in the previous year.

Saying that the investment making has been mainly made by the private sector in different sectors including industry, production, development, trade, and services, Mousavi expressed hope that the trend of investment making will be preserved by the year-end.

He also announced that $50 million has been attracted in the Arvand Free Zone since the beginning of this year in the form of approved foreign investment projects.

Mousavi said: "Despite all the problems in the world, country, province and region due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, as well as the U.S. sanctions, the investment situation in the Arvand Free Zone is favorable and this year we managed to increase the volume of foreign investment in this free zone compared to the last year.”

He added: "This amount of foreign investment in the Arvand Free Zone compared to $2 million investment in the same period last year shows a significant growth."

Mousavi said: "According to this year's motto of surge in production, 13 production and industrial projects in Arvand Free Zone have been inaugurated and it is predicted that by the end of this year, this number will reach 20 projects, which will greatly help the growth of investment in the free zone."

Arvand is one of the seven major free trade zones of Iran.

The zone with an area of 37,400 hectares is in the northwest of the Persian Gulf, including the cities of Abadan, Khorramshahr and Minushahr (Minu Island). It is located at the confluence of Arvand and Karun rivers. The region is in the neighborhood of Iraq and Kuwait.

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

MA/MA

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