Iranian tanker

In an interview conducted by the Fars news agency on Saturday, Allahmorad Afifipour, the director-general of Ports and Maritime Department of Hormozgan Province (where the island is located), announced that 676,000 tons of goods have been exported from the island’s ports during the mentioned two-month period, showing a significant growth compared to the same time span in the past year.

He expounded upon the performance of his department in loading and unloading of goods on Qeshm Island in the first two months of the current year and said, “In this period, 676,933 tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded on this island.”

Of the mentioned figure, 656,737 tons were the non-oil goods, and the remaining 20,196 tons were the oil products, Afifipour added.

Qeshm Free Trade Zone is the second free trade zone established in Iran.

Last December, the Iranian Free Zones High Council Secretariat and Pardis Technology Park (PTP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim of developing and enhancing innovation and technology in the country’s free and special economic zones.

The MOU was signed by Akbar Eftekhari, Iranian Free Zones High Council Secretariat’s deputy for economic affairs and Head of PTP Mehdi Safarinia.

Development of the country’s innovation and technology ecosystem, especially in the industrial parks and free and special economic zones, facilitating and expanding the export of knowledge and technology-based goods and services in the country, developing investment in the production of knowledge- and technology-based commodities and services in free and special economic zones through the joint venture with Pardis Science and Technology Park were reported to be among the major goals of signing the mentioned MOU.

The signing ceremony was also attended by the Secretary of Iranian Free Zones High Council Morteza Bank.

Establishment of free trade zones in Iran dates back to the 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 the 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.

Development of existing free trade zones and establishment of new FTZs is currently one of the major economic approaches of Iran and in a bid to attract more investments to these zones Iranian government offers various incentives to the investors.

Tax exemption is one of those incentives which has been offered for more than a decade to the investors in the free zones.

This incentive has been criticized by some officials and economists over the recent months, while there are still many supporters of this exemption.