Document Type : Research Paper
Investigating the effects of Bandar Anzali free trade-industrial zone on improving the rural development index
Case study: Villages in Rural District of Licharaki-Hasan Rud
A free trade zone is a specific territory that is often located inside or near a port, where free trade with other parts of the world is permitted and goods can be exported or imported without paying customs duties and taxes. Therefore, free zones are ways to enter global trade markets and are used to facilitate and accelerate economic and trade activities in the national sphere and better interaction with the world economy. In this regard, surrounding villages are affected by the activities of the free zones and their performances have a significant impact on the sustainable economic, social and cultural development of the region.
The idea of establishing and launching free zones in Iran was formed in the early years of the 1951s. In February 1971, A law was passed by which the government was allowed to exempt all stores of specified islands of the Persian Gulf from the payment of duties and taxes, customs, commercial profit, monopoly, various duties, and the right to register an order for all goods which are used for consumption, use, and sale. By the occurrence of the revolution and the cultural and social alterations that followed, in February 1980, the Revolutionary Council finally designated Kish Island as the first free trade zone.
In 1989, according to the law of the First Development Plan, the government was permitted to establish free trade-industrial zones in three border points of the country, and after that, the government proclaimed Qeshm Island and Chabahar Port as free zones of the country. The Islamic Parliament established Aras as Free Zone on October 24 in 2003 in order to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure, development and prosperity, economic growth and development, investment and increase the public income, create healthy and productive occupation, active presence in global and regional markets, production and export of Industrial and alterant goods and services. Arvand Free Zone officially started its activity on the 25th of July in 2004. Anzali Free Trade-Industrial Zone is one of the free zones of Iran, which was established in 2005 due to the economic plans of this country.
This study is in applied form and the terms of the method is descriptive-analytical based on field studies. The statistical population of the current study is the rural households of 5 villages in the Rural District of Licharaki-Hasan Rud, which has over 2500 households and its population is equal to 7596 people. The required number of samples by considering a 5% error level was determined to be 312 according to Cochran's formula. The questions studied in this study were set on a Likert scale and in five grades (very low, low, medium, high, and very high). The reliability of the research instrument was obtained by using Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the studied components in the research equal to 83%. The extracted data from the questionnaire were analyzed and evaluated by using SPSS software and descriptive and inferential tests. Moreover, the required maps were designed in ArcGIS software.
Scope of the study
Bandar Anzali County is located in Gilan Province and has a longitude of 49 degrees and 28 minutes and latitude of 37 degrees and 28 minutes and its height above sea level is minus 26 meters. Anzali Port is connected to the Caspian Sea from the north, to Someh Sara County from the south, to Rasht County from the east, and to Rezvanshahr County from the west. This city is located in a completely plain area in the form of a narrow strip along the Caspian coast and has a temperate and humid climate. Part of the natural environment of this county is the Caspian Sea (40 km of Coastal strip) and another important part is the valuable ecosystem of Anzali Lagoon. The area of Anzali County is 275 square kilometers, of which the share of the urban area is 49.31 square kilometers, and due to the population concentration, Anzali County is one of the densest cities in Iran. Bandar Anzali County has a central district and two rural districts called Licharaki-Hasan rud and Chahar-Farizeh and 32 villages and its center is Bandar Anzali city. Its population is 139015 people, of which 118564 people live in cities and 20459 people in villages. There are 7 villages in Licharaki Rural District and 25 villages in Chahar-Farizeh Rural District.
Results and discussion
Free trade-industrial zones should be considered as a bridge between national and international economies, on the one hand, it strengthens the basis of export expansion by attracting foreign direct investment, and on the other hand, via potential resources and talents, it converts the proportional advantages of the economy into an actual one. The purpose of designating and developing free zones is to increase and develop exports, create jobs, attract domestic and foreign investors and transfer technology, increase public revenues, increase tourism, improve the country's economic position and benefit from a competitive economy. The results of Chi-square correlation analysis to investigate the relationship between economic, social, and physical indexes with the establishment of a free zone indicate a significant relationship up to 99% confidence level. Friedman's results also demonstrate a significant difference between the studied indexes and the values assigned to each of them indicate their importance. Furthermore, Wilcoxon and McNemar's tests are used to compare the studied indicators before and after the establishment of the free zone which illustrates a significant difference of 99%. Based on this, it can be concluded that after the establishment of the free zone, despite some limitations, most of the economic, social, and physical indicators of the villages in the study area were improved, and accordingly the quality of villagers’ lives has improved.
Keywords: free zone, commercial and industrial, development, economic and social development, physical development.