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McClatchy-Tribune  07/07/2014 12:01 AM ET
Iran, Qatar to establish joint free trade zone [Trend News Agency, Baku, Azerbaijan :: ]

July 07--Iran and Qatar will establish a joint free trade zone in Iran's southern province of Bushehr.

Akbar Torkan, a senior advisor to Iranian president, said two Qatar ports will serve to boost the two countries' trade relations, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on July 5.

"Representatives of the private sector of the two countries are scheduled to hold a meeting in Bushehr or Doha every three months," he added.

Torkan said on April 29 that Qatar requested to establish a joint free trade zone with Iran's south-western port city of Bushehr.

He asked the province's officials to complete the preliminary studies to establish a free trade zone in the province and submit the results to the government.

Torkan said the development of South Pars gas field in Bushehr province has yet to influence the society there.

"If the development plan does not affect local people's lives positively, it is not complete," he explained.

Iran's Bushehr and Khuzestan provinces enjoy the highest volume of foreign investment, which mostly goes for oil and gas sectors.

Iran needs up to $300 billion in foreign direct investment to meet the objectives of its Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2010-2015), and reach eight percent economic growth rate, according to the government of Iran.

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