Iran attracted some $8 billion worth of investment to development projects in its Chabahar region in the year to late March as the government presses ahead with plans to spur more economic activity in its only ocean port.
CEO of Chabahar free economic zone Amir Moghaddam said on Saturday that foreign and domestic investment in the region, which is located in southeastern Iran on the Sea of Oman, had nearly doubled over the calendar year to March.
Moghaddam said the region eyes to meet an investment attraction target of $14 billion for the year to March 2024.
Elaborating on the projects that started in Chabahar over the past calendar year, he cited a $2 billion factory to manufacture solar panels.
“This complex will employ 5,000 people during the construction phase and will create some 3,000 direct jobs after it becomes operational,” said the official, adding that a first phase of the solar panel plant in Chabahar will come on line by 2025.
Other investment projects finalized in Chabahar last calendar year include an $800 million steel plant where foreign investors will own 80% of the shares, said Moghaddam.
The plant, he said, will increase Iran’s steel production capacity by 3.5 million metric tons per year and will create 6,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Analysts believe investment in Chabahar will increase significantly once Iran connects the port to its national railway network.
The port is regarded as a major trade gateway between the Indian Ocean and landlocked countries located to Iran’s east and northeast.
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