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Iran exports in 8 months hit ‘astonishing’ figure of $27bn in value: Official

Iran’s top official responsible for coordination of exports says the value of shipments from the country has hit $28 billion in eight months, a figure he describes as “astonishing” given the pressure of the American sanctions on countries engaged in trade with Iran.

“Exporting (from) Iran in the current circumstances is astonishing … Difficulties faced by the Iranian exporters are not comparable to those of peers from other countries,” said Hamid Zadboum, who heads the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPO), on Tuesday.

Zadboum said exporters had managed to bring back more than 70 percent of the hard currency earned for the shipments despite the banking restrictions imposed by the US.

He also said that intermediate goods, including metal products and petrochemicals, had accounted for around 70 percent of Iran’s export to other countries in the eight-month period ending November 21.

That remarks come as Iran is speeding up efforts to diversify its economy away from oil as normal crude sales have fallen significantly as a result of the American sanctions.

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Authorities say exports excluding crude should double next year to reach nearly $50 billion to compensate for the losses suffered in direct oil exports.

Zadboum said the government was introducing major incentives to help increase the exports, including low-interest loans and credits that could compensate the exporters if their settlements with foreign parties are affected by the sanctions.

He said a major focus of Iran’s exports next year would be on two neighboring countries of Turkey and Pakistan, where Iranian products have a competitive advantage in the markets.

The official said that the total value of imports into Iran between March and November 2019 had stood at $28.3 billion.

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