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Some 1,400 industrial units are active in Iran’s free trade zones, according to Morteza Bank, the secretary of Iran’s Free Zones High Council. Making the remarks in a ceremony for inaugurating some infrastructure and investment making projects in Aras Free Trade-Industrial Zone in northwest of the country on Friday, the official said some huge investments have been made in Iran’s free zones over the past five years, IRNA reported.
Free zones play some significant role in development of the country, Bank noted and said, “We should help these zones be successful in economic flourishment of the country.” In early May, the official announced that customs offices will be established in all seven free trade zones of the country by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2019). He said, “Through good cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), customs offices were set up in three free trade zones over the past months.”
Establishment of free trade zones in Iran dates back to Iranian calendar year 1368 (March 1989- March 1990) following the fall in the country’s oil income in the preceding year which prompted the government to promote the non-oil exports. The first two free trade zones of Iran were established in the south of country. The first one was Kish Free Trade Zone established in 1368 on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf and the second one was Qeshm Free Trade Zone established the year after on Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz.
Some five other free trade zones have been also established in the country since then, including Chabahar in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Arvand in southwestern Khuzestan Province, Anzali in northern Gilan Province, Aras in East-Azarbaijan Province and Maku in West-Azarbaijan Province, both in the northwest of the country.