Economy, Domestic Economy

Emiratis Scour Iranian FTZs for Investment

Emiratis Scour Iranian FTZs for InvestmentEmiratis Scour Iranian FTZs for Investment

A UAE delegation led by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World, which owns and operates Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, arrived in Iran on Tuesday for a three-day visit aimed at identifying opportunities for expanding cooperation with the Iranian free trade zones.

Sulayem, accompanied by DP World Company’s partners from the United Kingdom, visited three FTZs namely Qeshm and Chabahar in the south and Anzali in the north, IRNA reported.

The delegation’s visit came at the official invitation of President Hassan Rouhani’s chief advisor and secretary of Iran’s High Council of Free Trade and Special Economic Zones, Akbar Torkan who in June visited Dubai along with the managing directors of Arvand and Chabahar FTZs to discuss closer cooperation between Iran and the UAE in the development of FTZs.

The delegation is expected to invest between $500 million to $1 billion for development of Iranian FTZs, according to head of transit affairs at Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone, Mohsen Mohammadi Moein.

DP World is a company headquartered in Dubai which owns ports around the world. It has a portfolio of more than 65 marine terminals across six continents, including new developments underway in India, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

> Cargo Transit

In addition to boosting cooperation for development of Iranian FTZs, the Emirati delegation’s visit also aimed at seeking ways to facilitate transit of goods from Dubai’s Jebel Ali port to Central Asian countries via Iran, based on an announcement by Iran’s embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“We see good opportunities in expanding cooperation with Iran for transport of goods from Dubai to Aktau port in Kazakhstan via Anzali FTZ,” Sulayem said on the sidelines of his visit to Anzali on Tuesday.

He expressed satisfaction with the ongoing activities in Caspian Port Complex in Anzali, adding: “Over the past years we have been cooperating with Kish Free Trade Zone. We now hope to be able to expand our cooperation to Anzali, Qeshm and Chabahar ports as well.”

> Largest Port in Caspian Region

Chairman of Anzali FTZ, Reza Masrouri highlighted the FTZ’s role in providing the UAE access to Caspian littoral states “Anzali provides the UAE a suitable channel for export and re-export to the Commonwealth of Independent States.”

Once the development activities in Caspian Port Complex are completed, the port will be the largest in the Caspian Sea region with 22 berths and cargo handling capacity of 15 million tons per year, said Masrouri. The ports cargo handling capacity is currently about 7 million tons per year.

“Our goal is to turn the port into a transit hub for Central Asia,” he added, observing that the Caspian Port will soon be connected to the national railroad network, placing it in the north-south and east-west transport corridors.