Deputy FM highlights establishment of joint free zones with neighboring countries
Referring to the meeting of the Foreign Economic Relations Coordination Headquarters on the subject of free zones, the Deputy Foreign Minister said: "Free zones can be a high source of foreign exchange for the export, production and export of engineering services."
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"Today, we encourage people living abroad to invest in these areas," he said, noting, “In the past, free zones used to import, but now our effort is to produce goods in these areas and export those products.
The Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs stated: "According to some reports, in the free zones and in parallel in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, good steps have been taken in the field of exports."
Emphasizing that Iran’s priority is cooperation with neighboring countries, Safari said: "Seven non-neighboring countries are our target countries especially if they have free joint zones. But we need to establish joint ventures with these countries so that the parties can work together. As a result, we can use machines and technology to export products instead of importing them.”
He added: "Most countries are looking for self-sufficiency and they themselves want to produce goods and say that if you want to export, you must be in our country."
The Deputy Foreign Minister added: "We have decided to go one step further and create these zones if the countries are willing. It is possible to create these joint zones with Pakistan, Armenia, Turkmenistan and other countries such as the UAE.”
Safari noted: "This work is being done with non-neighboring countries, including China. Issues and problems have been studied and free zones can be effective in solving them, and transit and transportation can be done. There was talk of the Caspian port in the north and the port of Chabahar in the south to remove obstacles.”
He added: "Due to the importance of this issue, the next meeting of the International Transport Committee will be held next Friday in Chabahar and various agencies will be present at this meeting."
The high-ranking diplomat added: "In this meeting, issues will be closely examined. These zones are exempt from sanctions and we can take advantage of this privilege and use it to transit goods from countries such as India and China, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to the north."
The Deputy Foreign Minister added: "Some countries are interested in the transit of their goods to the Chabahar region, and in this regard, a delegation from Uzbekistan will come to Iran and will go to Chabahar to establish their warehouses and depots and check the safe exports and imports."
He also spoke about the 25-year-old agreement with China, which has been implemented since Saturday. The Ministries of Health, Tourism and Fisheries are implementing the agreement.
The Deputy Foreign Minister added: "We have a very good environment for exporting aquatic products to China. We have a high capacity in products such as honey and medicinal plants, and this issue has nothing to do with sanctions, but depends on our efforts and pursuit."
Safari said: "Iranian honey is one of the items that the Chinese side has said will give a license for it soon. Also, a license for aquatic products will be issued soon. If we can work on this issue, we can export our non-oil, especially in the fisheries sector and summer crops to two or three times.”
Referring to China's large population, the diplomat said: "This country has a high population and high consumption. If we increase the shrimp production capacity, one of the licenses that China has given us is shrimp, which we can export up to 4 times the current level.”
Regarding another part of the Iran-China understanding, the Deputy Foreign Minister said: The Ministry of Health can also pursue its relations in the field of science, technology and joint technology park. The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade of Iran has a joint memorandum with its counterpart in China, the provisions of which are being followed.