Economy, Business And Markets

Export of Natural Stones Criticized

Export of Natural Stones Criticized
Export of Natural Stones Criticized

Iran’s $200-million decorative stones export per year suggests that the country has not succeeded in seizing the consumption market, said the Iran Mine House group.

Despite the fact that the country is the second biggest producer of natural stones, there are fundamental flaws in exporting either processed or unprocessed products, Mohammad-Reza Bahraman, the deputy of the business group, told Eghtesadnews.  Bahraman said the insufficient export shows inefficiency in marketing as well as in introducing new production and processing technologies in the sector.    

The country annually produces 14 million tons of natural stone but a small portion of the production is exported to 60 countries across the world including China, Belarus, and Japan.

High production costs and copious amounts charged by exchange offices to make financial transactions are among the main challenges stone producers face in the country. During the past few years, anti-Iran sanctions have made banking transactions with foreign counties impossible and the exchange offices, rather than the banks, have been transfering the money for the companies and individuals.

If guilds play a more active role and they are supported by the Trade Promotion Organization, an effective 3-year strategy could help increase exports up to $1 billion a year.

Last year, the parliament imposed a 70% tariff for unprocessed decorative stones which led to strong protests by producers. The parliament then rescinded the legislation, saying the decision was aimed at preventing raw stone sales.

More than 170,000 people work in the country’s natural stone production sector and producing and processing different types of decorative stones including travertine, marble, Onyx, and Granite for construction purposes.