Abadan, Khuzestan Prov, Feb 23, IRNA-Arvand Free Trade and Industrial Zone in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan has begun operations, a provincial official said.
According to a memorandum issued by the Khuzestan customs, commodities worth some USD 300 million will be imported into the province through the zone starting at the end of the Iranian current year, the Managing Director of Arvand Free Trade and Industrial Zone Morteza Mamuei told reporters.
"The stated figure of US 300m will be duplicated in the next Iranian calendar year (starts March 21, 2006)," he noted.
He predicted the zone would result in a booming economy and open lots of employment opportunities as land, air and sea channels are opened, including railroads, and because of its close proximity to Persian Gulf countries as well as oil industry and power plants in the area.
"According to an agreement made between Arvand Free Trade Zone and the Oil Ministry, an oil refinery that is to be constructed in the vicinity of the zone will raise the momentum of economic growth of the province," he maintained.
The provincial official expressed hope increased investment from the zone's establishment will bring economic prosperity to Abadan and the two major ports severely damaged during the imposed war.
Arvand Free Trade and Industrial Zone occupies a 172-sq-km area and includes some parts of the coastal areas of Abadan and Khorramshahr, industrial townships, railway, airport, Minu island and Shalamcheh region.
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