TEHRAN (Iran News) – President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi said that some free and special zones at times became places for imports, adding, “Reports show that the free and special economic zones are becoming close to their main philosophy of production, employment, entrepreneurship and capital attraction”.
Speaking on Thursday at the ceremony of simultaneous operation of 82 industrial, civil and agricultural projects of the Supreme Council of Free, Commercial, Industrial and Special Economic Zones, President Raisi thanked all those involved in the implementation of these projects and expressed hope that these plans and measures bring about production, employment and entrepreneurship with a focus on science and technology for the people.
The President added, “The philosophy of establishing free trade zones is to make the most of the existing capacities for production, employment and economic activities. This goal has been neglected at times, and some of these areas have become places for imports, while these areas are the best opportunity for exports”.
Raisi emphasized the existence of high standards and quality as essential features of manufactured products in free zones and emphasized, “The presented reports promise that free and special economic zones have approached their main philosophy of production, employment, entrepreneurship and capital attraction”.
“Domestic and foreign investment and increased productivity are the two basic conditions for economic growth,” the President said.
Raisi described it necessary for the private sector to be active in the country’s economic field and stated, “The presence of the private sector, investment of banks and large companies in the economy is one of the successful steps that must be strengthened”.
Pointing out that giving ground to the private sector is one of the government’s duties, the president said, “Guiding, supervising and supporting are the government’s three duties to harmonize the private sector with the economy”.
Appreciating the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and other executive bodies involved in facilitating the issuance of business licenses, Raisi said, “The field for investment and economic activities should be facilitated more than before and launching a comprehensive system for issuing business licenses is an effective step”.
Referring to the report on the employment of 8,000 people in the projects inaugurated today, the President said, “I am very happy to hear such news in a year decorated with the slogan of “Production, job creation, knowledge-based”.
The President referred to the need to use domestic human resources in free and special economic zones and said, “The activities of free zones are generally near the borders. We have many efficient and educated human resources in different regions of the country that can be used in plans and projects, but the priority is to attract efficient and local forces in each region”.
Referring to the legal powers of the heads of free and special economic zones, Raisi said, “Apart from every authority and right given to managers, there must be accountability and every manager must be accountable for the duties and responsibilities he has”.
Raisi referred to the role of free and special economic zones in expanding relations with neighbors and said, “Expanding interactions with the Eurasian region is important for our country, so the actions of free and special economic zones in this region can increase economic and trade interactions with neighboring countries”.
The President stated, “In the seventh development plan, the position of free and special economic zones should be redefined according to the requirements of the day”.
Referring to the importance of tourism development in free and special economic zones, the President stressed, “Creating employment and increasing exports is not in conflict with the tourism industry in these areas”.
The president unveiled a major power plant in its largest island in the Persian Gulf amid efforts to boost investment in the region.
The 320 megawatt (MW) power plant in the island of Qeshm was opened on Thursday by the President who used a video link from his office in Tehran to launch the facility.
The gas-fired power plant is part of Qeshm’s Pasargad electricity station, a system that works on combined cycle basis, a system where the exhaust heat from the turbines is used to raise steam.
Local authorities said private companies had provided the 95 million euros ($100.7 million) needed to finish the power plant over the 18 months to early April.