Domestic Economy

Iran FTZs' Foreign Trade Track Record Since 2013: Exports Rise Nearly Sixfold

In Iran, free trade zones were first authorized in 1993 in Kish, Qeshm and Chabahar. Later, Aras, Arvand, Maku and Anzali were added to the list of Iranian FTZs
Iran FTZs' Foreign Trade Track Record Since 2013: Exports Rise Nearly Sixfold
Iran FTZs' Foreign Trade Track Record Since 2013: Exports Rise Nearly Sixfold

Iran’s free trade zones exported a total of $941 million worth of commodities in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20), which shows a 490% growth compared with 2013 when President Hassan Rouhani began his first tenure.
Imports from Iranian FTZs, which largely included raw production materials and industrial machinery, decreased by 49% in the past seven years to stand at $718 million last year from $1.45 billion in 2013.
According to an IRNA report, the value of transit though Iran’s FTZs exceeded $4.35 billion in the last fiscal year, indicating a 265.32% rise compared with $1.19 billion in 2013. 
Through 2013 to 2019, a total of 62.2 trillion rials ($252 million) worth of investment were made by Iranian free trade zone organizations in the construction and infrastructural projects of free trade zones, including the construction of airports, ports, roads, water and sewage systems, health facilities; preparation of land for industrial or residential purposes; expansion of cultural, religious and tourism centers; rural and urban development; and establishment of energy, electricity and telecommunication facilities.
According to secretary of the High Council of Free Trade Zones, foreign investment in Iran’s FTZs hit $211 million from March 2019 to March 2020, registering a 781% surge compared with $27 million in 2013.
“Foreign investments in our FTZs stood at $113 million in the fiscal 2014-15, $249 million in 2015-16, $349 million in 2016-17, $448 million in 2017-18 and $307 million in 2018-19,” Morteza Bank added.
The official, who doubles as a presidential advisor, noted that local investments over the course of these seven years rose by 397% to reach 107.59 billion rials ($436,000).
“Local investment in Iran’s FTZs stood at 27.91 billion rials ($113,000) in the fiscal 2013-14, 58.63 billion rials ($237,000 million) in 2014-15, 40.96 billion rials ($166,000) million in 2015-16, 58.99 billion rials ($239,000) in 2016-17, 50.15 billion rials ($203,000) in 2017-18 and 68.28 billion rials ($276,000) in 2018-19. Investments have also increased over the first five months of the current Iranian year [March 20-Aug. 21] despite the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,” the senior official said.
Nearly 1,400 industrial units are operating in these seven FTZs, Bank said last year.  


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