Supporting export to achieve development

TEHRAN- As announced by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) on Saturday, Iran’s non-oil trade stood at $60.133 billion in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-October 22), rising 10 percent as compared to the same period of time in the past year.

The IRICA data put the country’s seven-month non-oil export at $28.406 billion and that of import at $31.727 billion, showing 5.6 percent and 14.4 percent growth, respectively, year on year.

In fact, the country’s export and import statistics at the end of the first seven months of this year show that, along with the increase in exports and imports, the country’s trade balance has become more negative and has reached $3.321 billion.

This statistic is stated while the economies of “export-oriented” countries are always successful in the world arena. Based on this, many experts believe that saving Iran’s economy depends on development of export, and also many of them emphasize the indirect connection of livelihood and improvement of life with exports.

Unfortunately, Iran’s economy has never been export-oriented and has always relied on oil revenues. This reliance made the economic status difficult during the years of sanctions. However, the sanctions should be considered as an opportunity, because it forced the country to think about the necessity of export development.

In this due, the government has put boosting the non-oil export a top agenda of its activity.

Meanwhile, a member of the parliament’s Industries and Mines Committee has recently said: “The parliament has increased the authority of the government to remove the export barriers so that we do not face opposition from the government in the process of examining and removing the export barriers and facilitating the export.”

Making the remarks on the sidelines of the 22nd Tehran International Industry Exhibition, Reza Taqipour added: “The MPs are definitely supporters of exports and they support any proposal that the government makes in the form of a bill to remove restrictions, define incentives and facilitate exports.”

While the government and parliament stress their support to the non-oil export, the exporters are facing many internal restrictions and barriers, besides the sanctions.

In a recent specialized meeting on investigating the neighboring and regional markets, attended by heads of some of the provincial chambers of commerce as well as the chairmen of some of Iran’s joint chambers of commerce with other countries, the participants were of the opinion that Iran’s exports suffer from the lack of strategy, restrictions caused by sanctions, complicated and redundant laws, and neglecting the models that should be designed separately for each market.

Improper management of border crossings, complex and unclear regulations, inefficiency of the current system in appointing commercial consultants, inefficiency of management of exhibitions and commercial pavilions, lack of knowledge in the field of standards, inflation, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rate and multiple forex rates, uncertainty from allocated resources, non-timely allocation of resources, non-use of export promotion tools and complex and redundant regulations were some major barriers in the way of non-oil export expressed by the attendees in the mentioned meeting.

In the global scene, export competitors have the full support of their governments, and governments pave the way for export development by facilitating the path for the exporters, the path that for the Iranian exporters is accompanied by unevenness such as instability of export markets, unsupported instructions, instability of communication with neighboring countries, transportation costs, administrative twists and turns in pricing and expertise of export goods.

In conclusion, it can be said that a major key to achieve development is supporting exports; something that should be achieved through a strong planning and serious measures taken by the government, parliament and private sector.

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