Iran Expects Sea Travel Surge in New Year Holidays
Iranian ports and islands have taken various measures to prepare the ground for hosting sea travelers during the upcoming Iranian New Year holidays, known as Norouz, which lasts from March 21 to April 2. Local authorities, especially in southern ports, are making every effort to take the opportunity to promote marine tourist attractions. These measures are likely to produce desirable results this year since the recent surge in the US dollar exchange rate has compelled many families to rethink their holiday plans. The total number of sea journeys during last Norouz holidays (between March 16, 2017 and April 4, 2017 when trips are often made) stood at nearly 4.8 million, Financial Tribune's inquiries show. This indicates a 76% growth in sea travel in Norouz compared with the year before, according to the database of the Port and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO). Qeshm Island Free Trade Zone is Iran's leading destination for sea travelers with its passenger traffic standing at 3.7 million last Norouz.
China Cementing Its Position as Iran's Top Trade Partner
From bilateral trade to finance contracts and civil projects, China arguably has the strongest presence in Iran among all other countries. The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration's monthly data, reviewed by Financial Tribune, shows non-oil trade between Iran and China amounted to $19.7 billion during the 11 months to Feb. 19, marking a $3 billion (18%) growth compared with last year’s $16.8 billion. Iran exported $8.2 billion worth of non-oil goods commodities to China during the 11-month period. Non-oil exports to China amounted to $7.3 billion during the corresponding period of last year. Imports from the East Asian country grew by $2.1 billion (22.5%) to reach $11.5 billion.