Iran to merge free zones council into Economy Ministry

Business Materials 12 August 2017 18:22 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, August 12

By Mehdi Sepahvand –- Trend:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has ordered the merger of the Free Zones Supreme Council into the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, head of the Parliament’s Economic Committee, announced the merger order in an interview with Mehr news agency August 12.

He noted that the merger was one of the tenets of the 6th Development Plan that must have been accomplished in the current Iranian fiscal year (March 21, 2017 to March 20, 2018).

The 6th Development Plan of Iran is a master policy that started to be implemented in the current fiscal year and will go on for a period of five years.

According to the plan, Iran should attain an economic growth rate of 8 percent.

Free trade zones (FTZs) in Iran can be traced back to the 1970s when the potential development of Kish Island as a flagship free trade zone in the Persian Gulf was first mooted.

After the end of the war with Iraq and with economic reconstruction under way in the late 1980s, the first concrete steps were taken—under the auspices of the First Five-Year Development Plan (1989–93)—to realize this objective.

In this first wave, three “Free Trade-Industrial Zones” were announced: Kish and Qeshm (both islands in the Persian Gulf) and Chahbahar.

The next decade and a half saw the establishment of three further zones: Aras and Anzali in the north (in the proximity of the CIS states) and Arvand in the south (bordering Iraq and Kuwait).