Free Trade Zones

$ 3.5 billion worth of projects ready for launch in free and special economic zones


TEHRAN – The secretary of the Iranian High Council of Free Zones has said that projects worth 150 trillion rials (about 3.571 billion dollars) are ready to be inaugurated in the free zones and special economic zones of the country of ‘within two months.

As announced by Hamidreza Mo’meni, the trade balance of the country’s free zones and special economic zones has been positive over the past three years.

“With the measures taken for the promotion of exports in the country, the trade balance of free trade zones and special economic zones has become positive over the past three years,” the official said.

In early July, Mo’meni announced the creation of new free trade zones in the country during the current Iranian calendar year (ending March 20, 2022).

“If we can settle the subject of the comprehensive plans for these zones, I think that by the end of this year, the new free zones will be added to the existing ones,” he said on July 12.

The establishment of free zones in Iran dates back to the Iranian calendar year 1368 (March 1989-March 1990) following the fall in the country’s oil revenues the previous year which prompted the government to promote non-oil exports.

Iran’s first two free trade zones were established in the south of the country. The first was the Kish Free Trade Area established in 1368 on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf and the second was the Qeshm Free Trade Area established the following year on Qeshm Island in the Strait. of Ormuz.

Some five other free trade zones have also been established in the country since then, including Chabahar in the southeast of Sistan-Baluchestan province, Arvand in the southwest of Khuzestan province, Anzali in the north of Gilan Province, Aras in Eastern Azerbaijan Province and Maku in Western Azerbaijan. Province, both in the northwest of the country.

While nearly three decades have passed since the start of the activity of free trade zones in Iran, the planned objectives have not been fully achieved and their development still faces certain obstacles.

The lack of proportionality between the equipment and the objectives, the absence of a national definition of the performance of the free zones, the limited resources for the establishment and the completion of the infrastructures, the absence of overall management between the zones and the incomplete implementation of the zone management law are among the obstacles to the activity and development of free zones in the country.