Arvand Free Zone attracts $51m of foreign investment in 9 months

January 30, 2021 - 10:52

TEHRAN- Arvand Free Trade Zone, in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan, attracted $51 million in the form of approved foreign investment projects during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-December 20, 2020), 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, said that the investment has been made mainly by China, Turkey, and Iraq.

The official underscored that despite all problems created by the coronavirus pandemic in the world, and also those due to the U.S. sanctions on the country, the status of investment making is proper in Arvand Free Zone.

As recently announced by Morteza Bank, the secretary of Iranian Free Zones High Council, the amount of investment attracted in Iran’s free zones has climbed 57 percent during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year, as compared to the corresponding period in the past year.

The official said that despite the limitations and barriers due to the foreign currency, tax and customs issues, as well as the sanctions, and coronavirus pandemic, some valuable achievements are witnessed in terms of investment making in the free trade zones and special economic zones of the country.

The development of free trade zones and special economic zones through production, exports and investment is one of the goals of creating these zones in the country.

To achieve this target, different measures were taken in the past year, such as attracting innovative and technological units to these areas and introducing investment opportunities and advantages in these zones.

President Hassan Rouhani has recently inaugurated 61 projects worth 92 trillion rials (about $2.19 billion) in some of the free trade zones and special economic zones of the country through video conference.

The projects were put into operation in the production, industry, trade, and infrastructure sectors of the zones in Hormozgan, Gilan, Bushehr, Qom, East Azarbaijan, and Markazi provinces, creating jobs for 3,200 persons.

Implementation of development projects in these areas shows the serious efforts and determination of the government to prosper the business environment within the framework of the policies of the resistance economy and achieve the goals of the surge in production this year, as well as increase export capacity, foreign currency earnings and employment.

The data released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs show that 89.843 trillion rials (about $2.139 billion) of domestic investment has been made in Iran’s special economic zones during the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19, 2020), which has been 173 percent more than the figure of its preceding year.

The establishment of free trade zones in Iran dates back to 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 non-oil exports.

The first two free trade zones of Iran were established in the Persian Gulf islands of Kish and Qeshm.

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.

MA/MA

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