In the past, for the most part manufacturing in Iran was characterized by small enterprises operating under conditions unfavourable to expansion and increased efficiency. In order to make these possible, the Government has been establishing a number of industrial estates in various provincial centres, where diversified enterprises can be grouped together to share common services and operate at minimum cost. The estate at Ahwaz consists of six units, occupying nine out of 15 available workshops. These include an electro-plating shop specializing in prototypes for optical tools and instruments. Other units produce metal furniture, wooden screws, refrigerator cabinets, paper conversion products and wooden furniture, among other things. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as executing agency, has been assisting in the creation of the Ahwaz estate from the initial feasibility studies, through the construction phase, to the provision of consultant services for individual tenants.