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Iranian Official: Qeshm Island's economy to be promoted by turning it into a free trade zone

Qeshm Island, Sept 17, IRNA -- Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Saeed Shirkavand sain on Thursday that turning Qeshm Island completely into a free zone will be a positive step towards promoting its economy.

Speaking at the second conference on development of Qeshm Free Zone (QFZ), he added that the relevant draft has already been approved by the cabinet and hoped that it will be ratified by the Majlis.

"Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Safdar Hosseini believes that turning the entire island into a free trade zone will help attract the capitals of the Iranian expatriates residing overseas, given that other world free zones have served as a pilot scheme to encourage such investment," he added.

Turning to the fact that the Iranian expatriates and foreign investors are looking for proper investment opportunities, he said that this can greatly improve the regional and national economy.

"According to assessments, the capitals of the Iranian expatriates is estimated to exceed 400 billion dollars, which is 20 times the national oil revenue over the past 20 years.

"In accordance with the statistics released by the Ministry of Information, 95 percent of the Iranian expatriates residing overseas will face no security problem on visiting the country," he added.

Shirkavand referred to the exclusive features of QFZ and noted that the vicinity of the international shipping line to the island, its capability to handle heavy ships, being located along the north-south transit road and east-west aerial corridor are among the unique privileges of the area.

Pointing to the area's gas reserves and mines as sources of energy and raw materials supplying the requirements of a number of industrial and producing units, he said, "The island's ecotourist attractions and its being located at the opening of Hormoz Strait are also some of the exclusive features of the area."

The second conference on development of QFZ opened in Qeshm on Wednesday and will close on Friday.

... Payvand News - 9/17/04 ... --

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