EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated via videoconference national projects worth 214.23 trillion rials ($867.32 million) implemented by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development and the Ministry of Sports and Youth on Thursday.
Thirty-seven highway, port and road transportation projects plus several multi-purpose sport facilities and sport spaces were officially opened across the country in Mazandaran, Kerman, Lorestan, Shiraz, Hormozgan, Khuzestan and Bushehr. These projects will add 1,422 jobs to the economy, IRNA reported.
Roads Minister Mohammad Eslami said a total of 11,000 kilometers of freeways, highways and main roads were constructed by the government.
“The capacity of the country’s ports increased from 180 million tons in the year ending March 2013 to over 285 million tons this year. In addition, ports have been equipped with the third-generation technology following an investment of 170 trillion rials [$688.25 million], of which 140 trillion rials [$566.80 million] were made by the private sector,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal of the ministry.
Last week, Rouhani inaugurated, also via videoconferencing, 62 manufacturing, economic and infrastructure projects worth 31,050 billion rials ($124.2 million) in free trade zones of Maku, Chabahar, Aras and Anzali.
With the completion of these projects, a total of 1,638 jobs have been added to the economy, IRNA reported.
Thirty-eight economic, infrastructure projects worth 15,140 billion rials ($60.56 million) were inaugurated in Aras Free Trade-Industrial Zone in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, plus four projects worth 7,580 billion rials ($30.32 million) in Maku Free Trade Zone in West Azarbaijan Province, 14 projects worth 6,160 billion rials ($24.64 million) in Anzali Free Trade Zone in northern Gilan Province; and six projects worth 2,160 billion rials ($8.64 million) in Chabahar Free Trade Zone in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
According to Secretary of the High Council of Free Trade Zones and Special Economic Areas Hamidreza Momeni, a total of 80,000 billion rials ($320 million) have been invested in the development of infrastructures in Iran’s free trade zones during the administration of President Rouhani, including 29,000 billion rials ($116 million) in logistics, 24,000 billion rials ($96 million) in urban development, 13,000 billion rials ($52 million) in tourism and 9,000 billion rials ($36 million) in education and treatment.
Momeni said free trade zones and special economic zones rank fourth after the Oil Ministry, Roads and Urban Development Ministry, and the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade when it comes to the number of new projects launched by the government.
“Free trade zones account for 0.5% of Iran’s area and 1% of its population while they constitute 44% of non-oil exports and only 14% of overall imports,” he added.