Maku FTZ Targets Petrochem Investment

Maku FTZ Targets  Petrochem InvestmentMaku FTZ Targets  Petrochem Investment

Major petrochemical companies of Germany and Turkey have expressed readiness to invest in Maku Free Trade Zone, director general of the Maku FTZ said on Wednesday.

"Implementing big petrochemical projects in Maku FTZ tops our priority list," Hossein Forouzan was quoted as saying by Shana.

Underscoring the fact that a German trade delegation will visit Iran in the coming weeks, the official added that the ground has been prepared to attract their investment in different fields, especially petrochemical projects.

According to Forouzan, due to the industrial and economic infrastructures in the region, not only German firms but also Turkish corporations have shown interest in constructing petrochemical complexes in Maku.

"Availability of abundant water resources and low cost of raw materials are among unique features that make investment in this region justifiable," a National Petrochemical Company official said, predicting that investment in Maku FTZ will help complete the value chain in the export of goods whose value added is presently very low.

Forouzan noted that Maku Free Trade Zone, located near Bazargan border with Turkey in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, is the most suitable gateway for trade with Europe.

Established in 2013 in an area of 5,000 square kilometers, Maku FTZ is the country’s largest and holds many advantages for trade with Turkey and European countries, including Germany.

Currently, Bazargan is the only Iranian border for trading between Turkish and Iranian businessmen. The border recorded total trade of about $15 billion during the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015), of which $6 billion pertained to cargo from European countries transiting through Iran to Turkmenistan and Iraq.

Director of Customs and Transit of Maku Akbar Nobakht said total trade between Turkey and the FTZ is expected to double and reach $30 billion in the near future.

In addition to acting as a trade gateway, Maku FTZ has also been successful in launching industrial projects and boosting production.

According to Forouzan, 55 industrial units and one industrial town are active in the zone, of which five have been established in collaboration with Turkish investors.

More than 136,000 tons of goods worth $85 million were exported from Maku to Turkey last year. More than 48,000 tons of cargo valued at $29 million were exported during the first four months of the current Iranian year.

Maku is also rich in mineral resources. Earlier this year, Maku Free Zone Organization signed a 15-million dollar contract with India’s Kaby Alloy Company for building a ferroalloy producing factory in the zone. Raw materials including silicon and manganese for this project will be extracted from mines in the region.

Petrochemical output reached 51 tons at the end of the Fourth Five-Year Plan (2006-2011) and the volume is expected to rise to 62 million tons in the present Iranian year ending March 19, 2016.