EghtesadOnline: Atotal of $493 million worth of non-oil commodities have been exported from the southern Khorramshahr Port since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 20, 2020, showing a 170% upsurge compared with the similar period of last year, the manager of Exports Expansion Bureau with Arvand Free Trade Zone said on Monday.
“Minerals, seafood, steel products, construction materials and different kinds of foodstuff were the main goods exported from the port over the period under review, which were mostly shipped to the neighboring Iraq,” Mohammad Adibikia was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that during the same period, $185 million worth of products were imported via this southern port, indicating a YOY increase of 16%.
The imports mainly included industrial raw materials and machinery.
A total of 2.46 million tons of commodities were loaded in Khorramshahr Port during the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2020-Jan. 19), showing a 16% rise compared with the similar period of last year, according to the director general of Khorramshahr Port and Maritime Office.
“These products were exported to the littoral states of Persian Gulf,” Nourollah As’adi has been quoted as saying by IRNA.
Container loading stood at 6,422 TEUs over the same 10-month period, registering a 56% year-on-year rise.
Khorramshahr Port is situated in the northwest of Persian Gulf, southwest of Iran and southeast of Iraq (Shalamcheh land border) at the confluence of Arvand and Karoun rivers in Khuzestan Province.
Khorramshahr is an inland port city located approximately 10 kilometers north of Abadan.
Arvand Free Trade Zone, located in the northwest of Persian Gulf, has an area of 37,400 hectares encompassing the cities of Khorramshahr, Abadan and Minoushahr in Khuzestan Province.
Located at the confluence of Karoun and Arvand rivers, the zone is located at a height of 3 meters above sea level and in proximity to Iraq.
More than $1.26 billion worth of goods have been exported from Arvand Free Trade Zone in the southern Khuzestan Province since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 20, 2020.
“Last [fiscal] year [March 2019-20], total exports were at $1.22 billion, which means shipments have already seen a significant rise,” Ali Mousavi, the deputy head of FTZ, was quoted as saying by IRNA in January.
The exports included seafood, minerals, different kinds of foodstuff, fruit and vegetable, steel products and construction materials.
Iraq and the littoral states of Persian Gulf were the main destinations, according to the official.
“Presently, 190 production units are active in Arvand FTZ, which we hope will increase to 200 units by the yearend (March 20),” he added.
It was in 2004 when the Arvand Free Trade Zone began its transformation from a rural area to an industrial and commercial region. Cabinet members officially demarcated the area by 2005.
Nearly 3,800 hectares are designated for warehousing and shipping. The port boasts the deep waters of Bahmanshir, Karun and Arvand rivers. Bordering Iraq and Kuwait, the free zone has excellent road, rail and air transit, which boosts its connectivity.
Iran is home to seven free trade zones, namely Kish, Qeshm, Chabahar, Anzali, Maku, Aras and Arvand, as well as 64 special economic zones.
A total of $50 million worth of foreign investment has been attracted to Arvand Free Zone since the current Iranian year began on March 20, 2020, Mousavi said recently.
“This year’s foreign investment in Arvand Free Zone shows a significant increase compared to $2 million of the same period last year,” he said.
The free zone is of special significance, as it is in the neighborhood of Iraq and Kuwait.
Bordering Arvand River and southern Iraq, the FTZ has a unique proposition on offer. It has direct access to the Iraqi market. Among all of Iran’s neighboring countries, Iraq stands as the largest market for Iranian products.