Economy, Domestic Economy

Majlis Rejects Bill to Establish New FTZs

Majlis Rejects Bill to Establish New FTZsMajlis Rejects Bill to Establish New FTZs

Parliamentarians have rejected the bill to establish seven free trade zones in Bushehr, Mehran, Baneh and Marivan, Ardabil, Incheh Borun, Zabol and Jask, in addition to 80 special economic zones, announced an official with the High Council of Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zones.

Jafar Ahangaran added that the bill failed to receive two-thirds of the vote needed for passage, ISNA reported.

Debates on the merits of FTZs have been based on its impact on several elements: from social issues like labor rights, environmental protection and urban planning to macroeconomic issues related to their impact on government revenues, employment, trade and foreign exchange earnings.

The primary purpose of a free-trade zone is to remove from a port, airport or border those hindrances to trade caused by high tariffs and complex customs regulations.

They should also help governments increase exports at a lower cost, create employment and increase incomes.

Nonetheless, some experts oppose the creation of new free trade zones in Iran, arguing that with imports 10 times more than exports from Iranian free trade zones, they have practically turned into platforms for imports. The opponents also argue that the establishment of new free trade zones in the country has always been synonymous with a rise in corruption, land value and land grabbing.

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.