Economy, Domestic Economy

Opportunities Galore Qeshm FTZ

Opportunities Galore Qeshm FTZ
Opportunities Galore Qeshm FTZ

Many foreign investors and businesses were forced to leave the Iranian market as the economic sanctions against Iran —imposed by the West over the country’s nuclear energy program— intensified in the past few years. Nevertheless, as the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers shift into high gear amid hopes for a final deal, many international companies are vying for a position in Iran’s lucrative market of nearly 80 million people that has been all but cut off from the global trade over the past years.

Qeshm Island, a designated free trade zone (FTZ), was the latest site to be visited by foreign delegations from countries including China, Germany, Canada, Japan and India over the past one month, willing to pour their money into this emerging business hub.

The possibility of Qeshm Island turning into a strategic energy and trade hub, bordering the Gulf of Oman, may radically transform the long-term economic prospect for Persian Gulf islands and the littoral states. Being the largest FTZ along the Persian Gulf, Qeshm Island also has a better chance at receiving the lion’s share of foreign investments in the region.

  German Investments

German Ambassador to Tehran, Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg, in his visit to the island last week said that German businesses are willing to invest in various sectors of Iran, particularly in Qeshm Island, “if Iran manages to strike a comprehensive nuclear deal with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) by the June 30 deadline.”

“Numerous German industries are willing to invest in Qeshm Island; in sectors such as cement, steel, tourism, oil, gas and automotive industries,” he said, expressing hope that giant German companies and automakers can return to the Iranian market after the nuclear deal is finalized.

  Chinese in Qeshm

Saeed Abolkheirian, the CEO of Aseman Aval Qeshm Company, which represents China’s private sector investors, recently announced that Chinese investors and businesses are eagerly looking for chances to invest in Qeshm Island.

He called for the establishment of a direct flight between Qeshm and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, noting that it can significantly promote bilateral trade.

In another development, head of Iran-China Friendship League, Zhu Jin Tang, traveled to Qeshm as part of an official visit to explore business opportunities there. He said China is trying to export high-quality products to Iran in an attempt to change the Iranian consumers’ mindset about Chinese products, adding that the upcoming visit of China’s Premier of the State Council, Li Keqiang, to Iran will mark “a turning point” in the history of trade between the two countries.

  Canada to Establish International Bank

In a meeting with Qeshm FTZ’s officials, managers of a Canadian investment company expressed readiness to launch an international bank in accordance with the island’s trade regulations. The move, which was welcomed by the officials, is expected to significantly ease international banking transactions.

Qeshm Island, located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Iran, is the country’s biggest free trade zone and the largest island in the Persian Gulf region. The island is also located at a short distance from Iranian port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir – both in Hormozgan Province.