Oil bonds to be issued for investment in free, special zones

March 14, 2022 - 12:27

TEHRAN – The Iranian government plans to issue oil bonds in order to fund development projects in the country’s special economic and free trade zones, according to the secretary of the Iranian Free Zones High Council.

“Necessary funding for investment and development of free and special zones will be provided through offering oil bonds,” IRIB quoted Saeed Mohammad as saying on Sunday.

Speaking in a ceremony for signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Secretariat of the Free Zones High Council and the National Development Fund of Iran (NDF), Mohammad said that the mentioned MOU has been signed with the aim of mutual cooperation for funding investment and development projects at the country’s free and special economic zones.

“This memorandum was signed for cooperation in providing financial resources for investment and development in free and special zones through issuing oil bonds as foreign currency credits,” the official said.

According to Mohammad, based on the mentioned MOU the NDF will cooperate in funding the establishment of joint free zones at border areas, creating free zones in neighboring countries, establishing bank branches in free zones abroad, etc.

“Part of the mentioned resources will also be allocated to the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology for supporting knowledge-based projects in free zones,” the official added.

Emphasizing the NDF role in creating monetary and financial institutions, Mohammad said: "In this memorandum, it was decided to identify investment opportunities and production units that need financial resources in free zones and to provide the list to the fund; then, the National Development Fund will provide resources to investors based on the rules and regulations that will be introduced through operating banks.”

“One of the major areas that have been addressed in this memorandum is the cooperation for funding startups and knowledge-based companies based in the country’s free zones,” he stressed.

Over the past two decades, free and special economic zones have played a significant role in Iran’s economy, and the Iranian government has been seriously pursuing a program for the development of the existing zones and establishing new ones.

According to Morteza Bank, the former secretary of Iranian Free Zones High Council, over 40 percent of Iran’s exports are done through the country’s free trade zones and special economic zones and $169 billion worth of commodities have been exported from these areas in the past seven years.

EF/MA

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