By Mahnaz Abdi

Anzali Free Zone development necessary to expand trade with EAEU

November 25, 2020 - 16:46

TEHRAN- Located in Gilan Province, north of Iran, Anzali Free Trade-Industrial Zone is the sole free zone in the southern part of the Caspian Sea with an area of 9,400 hectares and 40 kilometers shoreline.

It is one of the country’s seven free trade-industrial zones.

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

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.

When it comes to Anzali Free Zone, taking development measures is of special importance, as the zone is a window to Eurasia, and its development can expand Iran’s trade relation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states, which is being seriously followed up by Iran.

Iran and Eurasian Economic Union reached a free trade agreement in May 2018 based on which about 862 commodity items were subjected to preferential tariffs, the agreement came into force on October 27, 2019.

Iran is a very important market in the region and the development of ties with this country is of high significance for the EAEU members (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan).

The trade agreement between Iran and this union has laid the ground for the expansion of trade ties between the two sides.

The agreement with the bloc has increased Iran’s exports to the EAEU member states significantly, which is a turning point for the Islamic Republic's plans for boosting non-oil exports during the U.S. sanctions.

This agreement is one of the most effective approaches to develop the markets of Iranian products, create jobs, improve transportation, and boost production.

To materialize the above-mentioned objectives through this agreement, the development of Anzali Free Zone seems more necessary, as with its advantages, opportunities, available facilities and special geographical location, this zone is a gateway to Eurasia.

Located on the North-South International Corridor, having a special position in connection with the Caspian littoral states, proximity to the ports of Astrakhan and Lagan in Russia, Aktau in Kazakhstan, and Baku in Azerbaijan, access through convenient routes to the consumer markets of CIS countries, and proximity to Rasht International Airport are some advantages of Anzali Free Zone.

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