EghtesadOnline: A total of $200 million in foreign investment were made in Maku Free Trade Zone’s production units since 2013 when President Hassan Rouhani first took office.
According to Ebrahim Jalili, the deputy head of FTZ located in northwestern Iran, private sector investment in these units stands at 12.5 trillion rials ($50 million) during the same period.
The aforementioned investments were made in 108 production firms that have created a total of 3,261 jobs, IRNA quoted the official as saying.
“Wide-ranging economic activities from agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries to mining, industrial production, tourism, trade and transportation are being undertaken in Maku FTZ,” he said.
Maku became a free trade zone in the fiscal 2010-11, yet serious investments in its transportation, logistics and industrial projects began in 2013, according to Farzad Bazyar, another deputy head of FTZ.
“The government has, since then, invested a total of 6 trillion rials [$24 million] in Maku FTZ’s infrastructural projects,” he said.
Maku Free Trade Zone is one of Iran’s lesser known transit points.
With just over 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the Turkish border and surrounded by mountains, the FTZ has one of the best trading advantages.
Located in West Azarbaijan Province just over 20 kilometers from the Turkish border, Maku is the largest free trade zone in Iran, encompassing an area of over 5,000 square kilometers. It is home to Bazargan, which is Iran’s largest export terminal and the only Iranian ground border for trading between Turkish and Iranian businessmen.
The small town is separated by Zangmar River that passes through West Azarbaijan Province. The local population includes both Azeri- and Kurdish-speaking people, who can also speak Persian.
Maku, like any other free zones in Iran, has a multitude of advantages, including discounted customs and duty rates on all goods, visa facilities for foreigners and ease of credit for foreign businesses.
Advantages include a 100% exemption on tax revenues and possessions for 20 years (which period can be extended), customs duty exemption for imports of machinery and raw materials, and customs exemption for exporting goods produced in the FTZ to the mainland.
Foreign investors can repatriate 100% of their invested capital and profits overseas.