Arwand Free Zone caretaker said here Monday the AFZ is a golden opportunity for making investments, particularly for foreign investors. According to an IRNA reporter, Behrouz Hosseinifar made the comment Monday evening at a joint interview with IRNA and the editor in chief and a number of editorial board members of the Russian periodical, ‘Business with Iran’. He added, “Iran’s Khuzestan Province, thanks to the rich oil resorts, the long international borders, Shalamcheh border facilities with Iraq, air border, and existence of a number of international airports, has a good potential for attracting foreign investments.” Hosseinifar referred to the high potential of the province, and particularly the AFZ for making very beneficial investments, arguing that the Arwand Free Zone offers over 90% text free investment opportunity to foreign investors compared to the mainland, reiterating, “This zone is ready for cooperation with Iranian and foreign investors in various fields, including electricity generating, oil and gas industries, small industry, and oil facilities.” He said that in addition to the 90% tax discount any type of economic activity at AFZ has a twenty-year tax exemption, and well facilitated banking services. The official added, “One of the very favorable investment facilities at AFZ is making investments in oil, gas and petrochemical fields.” The AFZ caretaker referring to the vicinity of the trade zone with Iraq and the 16 million strong southern Iraq market, added, “The foreign investors are advised to take advantage of this potential.” The official informed that investment companies from India, China, Germany, and southern lateral countries of the Persian Gulf are currently present at the AFZ, adding, “We are now engaged in talks with South Koran firms for manufacturing excavation facilities’ parts at the AFZ.” He said that Arwand Free Zone is young and rapidly developing, reiterating, “So far we have managed to offer the zone’s potential and implemented information to the foreign merchants and investors.” Hosseinifar also said that another advantage of the AFZ is the existence of numerous universities where the expert personal needed for local and foreign investments can be trained. The license holder of economic periodical “Business with Iran” Rajab Safarev, too, said in the meeting that the Arwand Free Zone, thanks to its vicinity with the boarder waters of Iraq, and closeness to the Persian Gulf waters, is one of the good regions for foreign investments, particularly for the Russian investors.” He said, “The region also has very good potentials for joint investments of Iran and Russia, and we need to introduce it to Russian investors.” Nowadays, free zones are working as tools for industrial development and are aimed at exporting industrial goods, expanding international trade and commerce, generating new job opportunities, decreasing unemployment and eventually mutating the present discriminating structure of global trade. Shannon port, the first free zone in the world, was mainly aimed at creating jobs, absorbing foreign investments and transferring technology. In Iran, free and special economic zones were established in line with the objectives of social, economic and cultural plans and as means for connecting to target regional and international markets. Then, by changing trade strategies from import to production, export and re-export, these regions were given high priority by government. The first trade and special economic zones are those parts of Iranian territory that are managed according to the special laws and bylaws and are excluded from the domain of custom authorities and enjoy the full freedom for in and out flow of goods and commodities. Unique geographical zones, sufficiently developed infrastructures and foreign investment incentives have provided ample opportunities for internal as well as foreign investments in the free zones. The parliament approved the free zones act in September 1993. According to this act, Kish Island, Qeshm Island and the port of Chabahar were declared as Iran\'s free zones. The council of ministers later adapted bylaws of the free zones; these bylaws have defined and set out all regulations pertaining to import, export, investment, insurance, banking, labor and employment in these zones. The Arwand Free Zone is a 155 square kilometer industrial and security zone that surrounds Khorramshahr, Abadan, and Minoo Island along the Arwand waterway (known as Shatt al-Arab in Iraq) in Khuzestan Province, Iran. Arvandkenar: The website of the Arwand Free Zone Organization lists some of its goals, including: Commercial and industrial development Job creation Increasing national income Stabilization of national security According to an agreement made between Arwand 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.