TEHRAN- As announced by the Director General of the Makou Free Trade Area Organization, products worth $ 2.030 billion were exported from the Makou Free Zone in West Azerbaijan Province northwestern Iran, during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-September 22).
Mohammadreza Abdol-Rahimi said that the export of non-oil products worth nearly $ 2.1 billion, and the export of gas worth $ 1.1 billion, imports of goods valued at $ 620 million and $ 13.2 billion in transit was carried out by Bazargan customs in the area.
He also highlighted the great ability of Bazargan Customs to facilitate the country’s international trade and trade between countries in the region.
Makou is one of the seven main free zones in Iran.
It has 140 kilometers of border with the Republic of Azerbaijan and 130 kilometers of border with Turkey.
As Makou is one of the most recently created and also the largest free zones in the country, there is a great need for infrastructure creation in this zone.
The establishment of free zones in Iran dates back to the Iranian calendar year 1368 (March 1989-March 1990) following the drop in the country’s oil revenues the previous year which prompted the government to promote non-oil exports.
Iran’s first two free trade zones were established in the south of the country. The first was the Kish Free Trade Area established in 1368 on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf and the second was the Qeshm Free Trade Area established the following year on Qeshm Island in the Strait. of Ormuz.
Some five other free trade zones have also been established in the country since then, including Chabahar in the southeast of Sistan-Baluchestan province, Arvand in the southwest of Khuzestan province, Anzali in the north of Gilan Province, Aras in East Azarbaijan Province and Maku in West Azarbaijan Province. , both in the northwest of the country.
Considering the important role played by free zones in promoting the country’s exports and employment, Iran is seriously pursuing the development of its existing zones as well as the creation of new zones.
More development measures in this area have been taken since the reimposition of US sanctions against the Iranian economy in November 2018, as Iran reduces its dependence on oil revenues while increasing its domestic production and exports. non-petroleum.
Although the sanctions disrupted Iran’s economic activities, they could not hinder the development of Iranian free zones; in fact, the development of these areas has even accelerated.
Many of the strides made in increasing activities in free zones have played an important role in boosting the country’s non-oil exports and brought prosperity to other economic sectors.
As announced by the former secretary of the Iranian High Council of Free Zones, the trade balance of the country’s free zones and special economic zones has been positive over the past three years.
Hamidreza Mo’meni also said in early July that new free trade zones are expected to be created in the country during the current Iranian calendar year (ending March 20, 2022).
“If we can settle the subject of the overall plans for these zones, I think that by the end of this year, the new free zones will be added to the existing ones,” he said.