Economy, Domestic Economy

Qeshm Island: Persian Gulf Commercial Hub

Qeshm Island: Persian Gulf Commercial Hub
Qeshm Island: Persian Gulf Commercial Hub

More than 402,000 metric tons of goods have been exported from or imported to the southern Qeshm Island during the eleven months ending on February 19 which registered 32 percent growth compared to last year, IRNA quoted Bagher Mousavi, head of Port and Marine Organization of Qeshm Island as saying on Tuesday.

According to official data, the import volume increased 34 percent while export rose 30 percent over the said period. “Nearly 7.6 million tons of oil and non-oil cargo was loaded or unloaded during the same period,” Mousavi added, showing a three percent increase compared to last year.

“More than 19,800 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) have been loaded and unloaded, registering an 85 percent increase compared to last year,” he noted.

Based on an MoU signed between the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) and the Supreme Council of Iran’s Free trade, Industrial, and Special Economic zones, the EGFI has agreed to set up safety nets to protect the export of non-oil products via special economic and trade zones including Qeshm free trade zone, Farshid Ahmadi, an EGFI official said on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in the first meeting of the organization’s officials on Qeshm Island, asserting that the EGFI is ready to help expand exports and guarantee that Iranian traders will get their receivables in transactions with foreign merchants. “Qeshm has the potential to become a major gateway for the export of non-oil commodities,” he said.

Traditionally, Iran relies heavily on oil as a source of revenue. With sanctions restricting oil exports, the government has worked to develop other parts of the economy. It plans to boost non-oil exports to 48-50 billion dollars by the end of the current calendar year (March 20).

Qeshm Island, located on the southern coast of Iran’s share of the Persian Gulf, is the country’s biggest free trade zone by landmass. It is adjacent to the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir - both in Hormozgan Province. It is the largest island in the Persian Gulf region. With a 135 km length, it is a stone’s throw from the Omani port of Khasab on the north end of the Arabian Peninsula. Although it’s 2.5 times the size of Bahrain, it has a small population of just over 113,000 full-time residents.