0653 GMT May 20, 2019
The managing director of the zone, Mohsen Nariman further said at a press conference on Sunday that of the total investment in the zone in this period, over 90 percent pertained to development of AFZ's production sector, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Noting that among AFZ's four zones, Jolfa, with an area of 21,000 hectares, is the most well-known, he put the AFZ's total area at 51,000 hectares.
Nariman said the zone has remarkable capacities in agro sector as it is located in proximity to Aras River.
He noted that to develop these capacities "we have begun production of greenhouse crops in the zone".
AFZ's CEO said the other advantage of AFZ is its historical sites, adding there eight free zones in the country including Chabahar (southeast Iran), Qeshm (south Iran, Persian Gulf), Kish (south Iran, Persian Gulf), Arvand (southwest Iran), Anzali (north Iran), Aras, Maku (northwestern Iran) and Imam Khomeini Airport City in Tehran.
Nariman said, "In case our interests are intertwined with those of other countries, [US unilateral] sanctions will not harm us. If we have good economic interactions with other states, the sanctions will not impact our country."
He added foreign funders who invested in the zone were from Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
"One Turkish investor invested $14.28 million in an olive oil processing plant."
He said the zone exported goods worth $213 million during March, 2018-February 14, 2019, noting that the figure stood at $215 million in the same time-span of the previous year.
"During the period to February 14, products worth $49 million were imported to the zone. In the same duration of the preceding year, the figure amounted to $133 million."
He said 18,000 tons of agro crops are exported from the zone to neighboring states each year.