Tehran Times – Some 2600 industrial, service and tourism units are operational in Iran’s free trade zones, ILNA reported quoting Secretary of Iran’s Free Zones High Council Morteza Bank.
Making the remarks in a summit on strategies for developing services, products and exports held in Tehran, the official said 1.3 quadrillion rials (over $30.95 billion) of investment have been made in Iran’s free zones over the past five years.
Emphasizing the strategic and geographic advantages of the country’s free trade zones, Bank said that the most important factor in decreasing investment risk is the ease of access to raw materials since this could significantly reduce the cost of production.
He further noted that half a million jobs have been created in the country’s free zones and $6 billion foreign investment has been attracted in various areas.
Free zones play some significant role in development of the country, Bank noted.
In early May, the official announced that customs offices will be established in all seven free trade zones of the country by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2019).
He said, “Through good cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), customs offices were set up in three free trade zones over the past months.”
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 the non-oil exports.
The first two free trade zones of Iran were established in the south of country. The first one was Kish Free Trade Zone established in 1368 on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf and the second one was Qeshm Free Trade Zone established the year after on Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz.
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.