Logistical “Maku Trade Zone”, connection hub between Fareast Asia, Europe
– Maku Free Trade Zone (MFTZ) in West Azarbaijan province is located by an important highway that connects the Caucasus countries via Iran to Turkey and Europe. It has great potential as a logistical zone, given the fact that many air, railways, and highway connections and plans are underway to make the best use of its invaluable capacities.
According to the IRNA correspondent in Orumiyeh, the MFTZ’s logistical status is meanwhile due to the combination of its huge commercial and industrial infrastructure facilities that can, in turn, contribute to Iran’s national commerce and industry.
The existence of Iran’s longest land border by the side of Maku is one of the major privileges of the MFTZ, which can lead to turning it into a logistical import-export and transit hub in near future.
Making investments in the international transportations infrastructure of the MFTZ, the largest FTZ in Iran, is already a top priority for the Iranian Free Trade Zones Organization.
A huge parking lot for the TIR trailers is now under construction at this entrance gate from Turkey and Europe to Iran to the Caucasus region and beyond.
Investments for turning this FTZ also into a tourism attraction are made, inclusive of many parks, hotels and restaurants.
** MFTZ, transit highway connecting Asia, Europe
Deputy logistical and transportations chief of MFTZ, Mahdi Safari-Moqaddam told IRNA that by the completion of the Tabriz-Kars railway the MFTZ will be the fastest connection route between East Asian counties and the south and central European regions, particularly for the most economical transportation of goods from China to Europe by rail.
“The Tabriz-Kars railway is the only missing ring in the solid China-Europe railway network whose completion is almost complete thanks to cooperation between the Iranian and Turkish concerned officials,” said Safari.
** $26bn foreign transit through MFTZ borders, infrastructure
The Managing Director of MFTZ Mohammed-Reza Abdolrahimi, too, told IRNA that the value of Iran’s export goods and natural gas thru the Maku infrastructure is six billion dollars, while the MFTZ was the transit hub for $26bn international trade transited thru it last year.
“The value of locally manufactured goods and services exported during the past seven years was $134mn, while the re-exports goods thru Maku during the same period amounted $68.5mn,” added Abdolrahimi.
** MFTZ development aimed at using region’s logistical potentials
Minister of Roads and Transportations Mohammad Eslami in his last month's visit to the MFTZ said that the huge logistical and transit potentials of the zone provide is a good opportunity for the development of the northern parts of the West Azarbaijan and this is a dire necessity under the prevailing conditions.
Eslami who was attending the opening ceremony for the entering gate highway of the MFTZ said that very good moves have been made for further development of this zone and serious decisions for further extension of this highway to Iv-Oqli are now to be made.
The MFTZ area is around 5,000 kilometers and its population according to the 2016 national consensus was around 200,000 people, turning it into the largest free trade zone of the country, which is why in some economic circles it is called Iran’s Shanghai.
Maku is one of the beautiful northern cities of Iran’s West Azarbaijan Province, neighboring Turkey and the Azerbaijan Republic, respectively with 130 and 140-kilometer borders with those two countries.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA