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Iran: A visit to Firouzkouh Industrial Complex

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Many people might know of or have heard abut the Ghazvin Industrial complex on the west side of Tehran between Karaj and Ghazvin. However, I doubt that many have heard of Firouzkouh Industrial Complex, which is on the east side of Tehran, as you turn off Damavand Road and drive towards Firouzkouh which takes you to Amoul. I must admit that this complex is much younger but it is becoming very busy and important.

I have no doubt that this complex has not reached anywhere near its full maturity. For me it seems like a young child with great potential.

The air there is wonderful and clean, helped by the wind which ensures wonderful weather in summer and spring, maybe even in autumn. But it is not easy to manage there in winter days, as they get very heavy snow in that area.

The reason I decided to write this piece about this complex, that I visited last month, was first and foremost to inform others who like me did not know much about this place. But more so to give a ray of hope to those who care about the economical viability and economic future of Iran. I went there to visit two factories. One is a chemical factory - with links to a German chemical company. Main raw materials are imported and then all is done at one of the two factories. Almost everything else is made in Iran. The other is a factory manufacturing sensitive paper, which is checked regularly by the Japanese area managers and technicians to make sure that the quality of the product is assured, when it reaches customers all over Iran.

I was in the area on another assignment and since I had known about these factories, I called their Tehran office, beforehand, to ask permission to visit them and take some pictures, which they agreed to. We also agreed that I would show them the pictures before publication. When I sent the pictures to them for confirmation, only three were withdrawn.

It was a sunny day when I got there; I was met by the general manager of one of these two sister factories, and their office manager, a young, active and lively lady. The factories were next to each other, on different sides of a small side road within the complex. I noted extension parts to be built for these.

What truly impressed me with these two units was the fact that everywhere was so clean. When I asked how they can keep the place so clean, even though the first factory was set up many years ago, the manager said "We make sure that nothing becomes dirty in the first place." There was a sense of order everywhere. I felt that everyone knew their responsibility, and was trained for the task that they had to perform.

I talked to the staff as we were lead from one area to another. Many must have found a visitor such as me, with my little camera, rather amusing, especially since I was neither Japanese / Chinese nor blonde. I was informed that the factories work in three shifts and many of their workers and staff come by special buses from nearby towns. I saw ladies in many sections, and they told me that about a quarter of their staff are women, which I found most interesting given that this complex is far away from anywhere.

After we went through all the sections and saw everyone, around 3 pm we were led to the canteen to have some lunch, which was most unexpected and welcomed, by both of us, as, by then, we were famished with all that walking about in the fresh clean air.

... Payvand News - 7/16/04 ... --

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