Economy, Domestic Economy

Gov’t Plans to Revitalize Sistan-Baluchestan

Gov’t Plans to Revitalize Sistan-BaluchestanGov’t Plans to Revitalize Sistan-Baluchestan

The government is firm on providing the means for the economic development of Sistan-Baluchestan by establishing a free trade zone in the southeastern province, said an official with the High Council of Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zones on Monday.

Jafar Ahangaran added that Afghanistan is Sistan Free Trade Zone’s target market.

According to the official, Sistan FTZ is set to be established in two areas, the first of which spans 8,000 hectares and will house the Zabol airport for conducting flights to Milak border terminal situated on the Afghanistan-Iran border.

“The second area is located outside the city of Zabol and has an area of 20,000 hectares,” Ahangaran was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The significance of the FTZ lies in the fact that it is established along the landlocked Afghanistan’s main transit path to open waters via Chabahar Port. Furthermore, Afghanistan’s high demand for Iranian consumer goods will make the establishment of production units in the FTZ highly economical.

The strategic location of this zone and growing demand in Afghanistan are expected to attract domestic and foreign investors.

Ahangaran noted that the bill to establish the Sistan FTZ was passed by the High Council of Free Trade-Industrial Zone on October 26 and has been sent to the parliament for approval.

Sistan region is located 250 kilometers north of the city of Zahedan–the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan Province–and shares a 300-kilometer border with Afghanistan.

“The province’s industrial parks and infrastructure are fully developed and only require investments to start production,” said Mohammad Ali Seyyed-Abrishami, deputy minister of industries, mining and trade for industrial parks’ affairs, during his visit to the province on Sunday.

“Considering the depletion of water resources and rampant migration of the population of Sistan region to other provinces, it is clear that the region requires investments in the industrial sector to get back on its feet and create employment opportunities.”

 Seyyed-Abrishami also said incentives have been considered by the government for attracting investors to the region.

“Land for establishment of industrial units in underdeveloped regions such as Sistan will be sold at 10% discount. Production units established outside the industrial parks will be awarded with five-year tax exemption, and those established inside will enjoy exemption for seven years.”

According to Ahangaran, bills to establish Baneh-Marivan, Jask, Bushehr, Mehran, Ardabil and Inche Boron FTZs–located in Kurdistan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Ardabil and Golestan provinces respectively– have also been sent to the parliament and are currently being analyzed by Majlis Economic Commission.