Tehran, Iran, December 3
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
The amount of export and re-export of products via Iranian free zones is rising by more than 100 percent per year, according to Ali Rajabi, the director of the free zone’s commerce affairs.
Re-export is technically defined as the export of imported goods, typically after they have undergone further processing or manufacture. In recent years the Iranian government has encouraged foreign producers to work with Iranian partners in turning Iran into a regional trade hub by finishing their products in Iran-based joint ventures.
"This rise is achieved in fulfillment of requirements of the resistance economy agenda, making free zones leading areas in implementation of free zone policies," Rajabi told Trend December 3.
The official refuted previous statements that free zones in Iran have become a place for unbridled imports in contrast to their intended role.
On December 1, Ali Akbar Karimi, deputy chairman of the Economic Commission of the Parliament, told the state TV that free zones in Iran are now rather a place to import foreign products rather than to make and export home-made products.
This is while, according to Karimi, the reason behind the creation of free zones was to encourage production by giving tax discounts and legal exemptions to production and exports.
"This is not a right statement to accuse free zones of providing a route for imports. When there is need for imported goods, people will meet the need by importing via borders, no matter if free zones existed or not," Rajabi said in response.
He went on to say that based on well-documented records, exports are going to beat imports in free zones across Iran in the near future, changing the trade situations both in Iran and neighboring countries.