A Novel Hybrid MCDM Method for Optimal Location Selection of Free Trade Zones, Case Study: Mazandaran Province

Document Type : Research Paper


School of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Free trade zone has attracted significant attention, especially in developing countries. It facilitates attracting foreign capital and skilled workforce and experts to achieve economic development, which is its ultimate goal. An efficient free trade zone has different features, most of which are related to its location. Therefore, location selection has an important role in its success. Facility location planning is a strategic decision that is very expensive, but can decrease future costs. This paper aims to find the optimal location for establishing a free trade zone. The current paper applies multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) to capture all the features and essentials of a thriving free trade zone. To this end, a novel hybrid MCDM method is developed to obtain the optimal solution with fewer paired comparisons and less reliance on estimations. Then, to assess the applicability of the developed method, a real case study was conducted in Mazandaran Province, Iran. Finally, the results of the proposed method were evaluated by comparison with the results of the AHP method.


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