Businesses in free zones to get coronavirus compensation facilities

May 13, 2020 - 14:33

TEHRAN - First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri said business units based in Iran’s free trade zones can use the 500 trillion rials (about $11.9 billion) of facilities that the government is providing to compensate the economic damages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Jahangiri said that the government has provided these facilities under easy conditions and expressed hope that by the end of the Iranian month of Khordad (June 20), all units affected by the coronavirus crisis will be able to benefit from these facilities.

The official underlined the significance of the free zones in the country’s economy, saying the free zones have been established with the aim of becoming important centers of investment, production and employment in the country, portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) reported.

The first vice-president emphasized that the program prepared by the Secretariat of the Free Zones High Council for the implementation of 310 development and service projects in the country’s free zones by the Iranian calendar year of 1400 (starts on March 2021) must be seriously pursued.

He further mentioned 620 trillion rials ($14.7 billion) of investment made in the mentioned projects and said: "The implementation of these projects will increase production and employment and will have a [positive] impact on the country's economy."

In mid-April, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced a government’s one-quadrillion rials (about $23.8 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) rescue package for supporting those affected by the pandemic.

Speaking in a cabinet economic meeting, Rouhani said this package was provisioned to help low-income households and struggling businesses that have been affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Rouhani went on saying that 520 trillion rials (about $12.3 billion) was also going to be offered in the form of loans to 10 prioritized business and production categories which have been affected the most from the coronavirus outbreak.

The government had previously announced that about 230 trillion rials ($5.4 billion as per official exchange rate) will be offered as loans with 12-percent interest rates to small and medium enterprises and low-income households.