Located on the border between the Kurdistan Region and Kermanhah, Parviz-Khan crossing will implement a free-trade zone starting on July 7, 2018. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iran and Kurdistan Regional Government agreed to develop the Parviz-Khan border crossing by allowing the free trade of some certain items between the borders.
"There was a big business conference in Erbil to promote business between Iran and the Kurdistan Region. Fortunately, now, KRG and Iran have agreed to create a free-trade zone at the Parviz-Khan customs center for cars, car tires, various types of rice, and cooking oil," Ali Tofiq Mohammad Kharib, the director of the Parviz-Khan border crossing in Garmian, told Rudaw.
Previously, traders had to pay a fee to cross the border and sell. Starting on Saturday, KRG and Iranian businessmen can exchange these items through a free-zone zone in the customs area of the crossing.
KRG and Iranian officials discussed
plans to develop business ties at a conference in Erbil in May.
"First, facilitations need to be made for the importation and exportation of goods and services, especially high quality commodities," KRG Planning Minister Ali Sindi proposed at the conference. "Second, unofficial border crossings, where trading is taking place needs to be recognized, so that it can become official and come under controls and monitors on both sides."
According to director of Garmian customs, the KRG revenue from the Parviz-Khan custom was about 63.75 billion Iraqi dinars ($53.6 million) in 2017.
"If the KRG and Iran agree on a free import and export for more items, the KRG’s revenues at Garmian customs can increase two or three times," Hussein Ahmad Qadir, the director of customs in Garmian, told Rudaw.
Following the Kurdistan Region's independence referendum in October 2017, Iran closed the Parviz-Khan until January. It is located in Sulaimani province, 231 kilometers southeast of Erbil.
The Kurdish provinces of Iran — Kermanshah, West Azerbaijan, and Kurdistan — were already some of the poorest in the country. Their economic woes have been compounded by the US pulling out of the nuclear deal and a drastic fall
in the value of the Iranian currency.