Domestic Economy

New ICCIMA Head Discusses Major Economic Challenges

New ICCIMA Head Discusses Major Economic ChallengesNew ICCIMA Head Discusses Major Economic Challenges

Iran’s economy is facing serious challenges, most notably the sanctions [imposed by the West over the country’s nuclear energy program], low competitiveness and negative productivity growth, Mohsen Jalalpour, the newly appointed head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture said.

He made the remark in a meeting between members of ICCIMA and Iran Chamber of Guilds with President Hassan Rouhani on Monday evening, IRNA reported.

“Despite enjoying abundant and diverse natural resources, strategic location, vast human resources and a rich historical background, the country’s position in terms of national production and per capita income is unsatisfactory,” said Jalalpour.

He praised the government for simultaneously pursuing the two objectives of removing tension in international relations and promoting economic development.

The outlook of Iran’s economy has taken a turn for the better since negotiations between Tehran and the six world powers yielded promising results in recent months, said Jalalpour.

“Studies show that 60 of the world’s top 100 companies have listed Iran among their 10 major target markets.”

Comparing Iran with its neighboring economy, Turkey, he said, “Utilizing the unique capacities in and around Iran’s borders and collaboration with the outside world will enable Iran to supersede Turkey as the biggest economic power in West Asia.”

He elaborated on plans proposed by the newly elected team at ICCIMA, on top of them: approving the new chamber law, expansion of cooperation with chambers of guilds and cooperatives, creation of a statistical center, establishment of a national ranking center and upgrading the chamber’s study center to become the country’s economic think tank.

Jalalpour on Tuesday appointed Ahmad Fayyazbakhsh as the chamber’s secretary-general.


  Exit From Recession Not Enough

Addressing the meeting, President Rouhani called on the guilds and private sector to assist the government in achieving its economic goals, including a non-inflationary exit from recession.

“The government believes stepping out of recession is not enough. Planning for economic prosperity is a must and to achieve this, the government and entrepreneurs must join hands,” he remarked.

The meeting on Monday followed the National Guilds Conference on the same day to commemorate the National Guilds Day. Head of Iran Chamber of Guilds Ali Fazeli, Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Vice President for Legal Affairs Elham Aminzadeh and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani were among participants in the conference.

  $500m Contribution to Annual Non-Oil Exports

Head of Iran Chamber of Guilds Ali Fazeli said 2.17 million licensed and 750,000 unlicensed guilds are active across the country in 1,850 categories.

“Of these, 45% are active in the distribution sector, 22% in the production sector and 33% in the services sector,” Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying.

He said the guilds account for about $500 million worth of annual non-oil exports, adding that they have the potential to generate up to $2 billion annually in foreign revenues from exports.

Drawing attention to lack of interaction between large and small enterprises, he called for closer cooperation between the three chambers of commerce, guilds and cooperatives to overcome this challenge.

  Entrusting Supervisory Roles to Guilds

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called for entrusting supervisory and decision-making roles to the guilds.

“All executive authorities in the country must trust the guilds. Of course legal measures must be put in place to prevent any violation of law,” he said.

He called on the guilds to seek ways to improve transparency in income tax calculation and propose them to the Parliament.