Aras Free Zone


About Aras Free Zone

Aras Free Zone has a significant role in the 20-year overview due to the following facts: joint border with the countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic; Connecting lines and roads with Europe and Ghafghaz region, Turkey, Mediterranean region, and being located in international transportation corridors; A significant historical and economical history; appropriate climate; rich water resources; grazing fields and jungles; capabilities for developing tourism in the fields of history, culture, nature and international sports; a high potential for development and growth in industry, mining, agriculture, services, science and education.
Having Tabriz as a strong background and also valuable ecological areas and international caches, and valuable funds for agricultural development, has brought together a situation and condition that with its support Aras can become a region that has a desirable and idealistic health, welfare, food safety and natural environment, along with the fact that it can become an international medical and sanitary center.
Existence of rich mines and creating dependent industries, and being near infrastructure networks, and having the basis for developing new technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and IT, gives the region an ideal condition to boost its potential and contribute to the economical growth and thus rise to first place in the region for economical, scientific and innovative contributions and developments.

Also the historical centrality for business and trade in the region and high abilities in exporting can be good reasons for international relations if development bases and trading activities are provided along with customs and centers for discharging and mounting goods and cargo.


Geographical Location and Area of Aras Free Zone

Aras Free Zone is located in Northwestern Iran at the zero point of the border neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan and Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan. According to the Decree No. 20708/T/530820 dated 28 June 2005 of the Board of Ministers, the area of Aras Free Zone included 9,700 hectares of the lands of the region. This area was expanded on 4 December 2008 to 51,000 hectares based on the new decree of this Board, including some parts of Jolfa and Kaleibar Towns. This approved area in the attached part has increased the main district from 9,700 hectares to 20,500 hectares, and in three detached parts makes up totally 51,000 hectares of entire Aras Free Zone including a part of the Kaleibar city with the area of 24,000 hectares (called Gholi Beig Lou) and the vicinity of Khodafarin Dam with the area of 6,100 hectares as well as the district of Nurduz Customs (Iran-Armenia border) with the area of 240 hectares.


Geographical Location and Area of the City of Jolfa

The city of Jolfa is located in the northwest of East Azerbaijan Province, between 45°17′ to 46°31′ of eastern longitude and 38°39′ to 39°2′ of northern latitude as a narrow strip on the northern border of the Province. It ends up from the north to Aras River, Republics of Armenia, Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan. The area of this city is 1670.31 sq. km and the city of Kaleibar is located in the eastern part of this town and the cities of Marand and Ahar are considered its southern neighbors. Averagely, the width of the city is 17 km and its length is 100 km. Jolfa is the capital city and is located 135 km away from northwest of Tabriz and 65 km from north of Marand. In terms of the area, Jolfa is considered among the small towns of the Province and with an area of 1670.31 sq. km only covers %3.4 of the total area of the Province and in this regard stands at the twelfth place.

The central district of the city of Jolfa includes Shoja and Arasi municipalities. The city of Jolfa is located in the geographic district of Shoja municipality and Hadishahr city is located in the geographic district of Arasi municipality. In terms of political divisions, the town has two districts namely the Central and Siahroud districts as well as five villages namely western Dizmar, Noje Mehr, Arasi, Daran and Shoja. Based on 2004 census, the number of inhabited villages of the city of Jolfa is estimated at 73,219.


Aras the Golden Point for Trade and Investment

Aras Free Zone is located in 5 separate parts in the northwest of Iran and the zero point on the border adjacent to Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and along the Aras border river.

The Aras area has always been of interest to traders and travelers from Asia-Europe and the Silk Road.

This importance has led to the prosperity of the silkworm breeding industry during the Safavid era, as well as the construction of caravanserais and residential, service and commercial complexes in the last century in the Jolfa area.

The construction of Jolfa railway station and Jolfa-Tabriz electric railway, which is connected to the national railway of the former Soviet Union, is one of these infrastructures.

Aras area has gone through the following stages in the path of industrialization and commercialization:

  • Establishment of the present-day customs and warehouses 60 years ago (now active)
  • Establishment of industrial zone and special economic investment zone (Jolfa Special Economic Zone)
  • Changing the special zone into Aras free trade-industrial zone

The economic prosperity of Aras Free Zone caused the total area of Aras Free Zone to be expanded to 71,848 hectares in 2020 and was determined as follows:


Benefits of Investing in Aras

  • Suitable geographical location:
  • Temperate mountain climate
  • Proximity to the market of 400 million CIS countries
  • Located within the 10-million market in northwestern Iran
  • Favorable infrastructure:
  • Abundance of electricity and gas
  • High-speed telecommunication lines
  • Abundant water of Aras River
  • Aras, Khodaafarin, Golfaraj and Gordian dams
  • Lands and projects ready for investment in various industrial, agricultural, tourism, scientific and technological and transit uses:
  • Vast agricultural plains of Gardian, Golfaraj, Khodaafarin and Gholi Bigloo
  • Industrial estates
  • Lands surrounding tourism highway
  • Ready warehouses
  • Tourism and cultural potentials:
  • Thousands-year historical works of different religions
  • Aras Geo Park and beautiful natural attractions
  • Over 5 million visits (cultural, health, commercial, recreational) to the area annually
  • Customs and handicrafts different from other parts of Iran
  • 6 prestigious active Iranian universities with more than 5000 Iranian and non-Iranian students in master's and doctoral degrees in the fields of medical sciences, humanities and engineering


Competitive Benefits of Investing

  • Exemption from customs duties and commercial profits for the import of raw materials and machinery
  • Exemption from customs duties and commercial profits for the import of goods produced in the region to other parts of Iran under the Value Added Law
  • No need for visa for non-Iranian citizens
  • Human resources (cheap and specialized labor)
  • Investment security
  • 20-year tax exemption
  • Cheap warehousing
  • Possibility of 100% foreign investment without Iranian participation


Customs benefits of investment

  • Reduction of commercial profit up to 15% of the value of the safe deposit box that enters the mainland commercially through free trade-industrial zones
  • Increasing the amount of goods imported to the regions up to $ 3,000,000,000
  • Evaluation and clearance procedures in the shortest time
  • Possibility of importing goods through foreign, domestic, carnet shooting, etc.
  • Possibility of transporting goods by train and connecting with lines abroad
  • Accepting a guarantee for the clearance of goods from the area
  • Separation of clearance warehouse receipts (final clearance, transit, export, etc.)
  • Agree with the owners of goods to import and export goods of production units within the region
  • Agree or clear uniforms on the truck in the shortest possible time
  • Issuance of a negotiable warehouse receipt at the request of the owners of the goods
  • The stoppage of the goods in the customs places of the free zone is up to twice the time foreseen for the customs of the mainland, and the stopping time is not limited for the produced goods


Competitive Advantages of Investing

  • Human resources (skilled and cheap labor)
  • Cheap energy
  • Investment security
  • Cheap warehousing
  • Land
  • Exemption from customs duties and commercial profits for the import of raw materials and machinery
  • Exemption from customs duties and commercial profits for the import of goods produced in the region to other parts of Iran under the Value Added Law


Legal Advantages of Investing

  • Enjoy the advantage of the value added law
  • 20-year tax exemptions from the date of operation for a variety of economic activities
  • Exemption from customs duties and commercial profits for the import of raw materials and machinery
  • Possibility of exporting goods produced abroad with the least formalities
  • Freedom to import any kind of goods except goods that are contrary to Islamic law
  • Guaranteeing the capital of foreign investors against acquisition and nationalization
  • Possibility of any economic activity for foreign investors
  • Registration of companies by Aras Industrial Free Trade Zone Organization
  • Possibility of 100% foreign investment without Iranian participation
  • No need to obtain a visa for entry and exit of foreign nationals
  • Possibility to use foreign specialists
  • Issuance of residence permit for foreign nationals by Aras Free Trade-Industrial Zone Organization