Economy, Business And Markets

Button Industry Hit by Excessive Imports

Button Industry Hit by Excessive ImportsButton Industry Hit by Excessive Imports

There are around 12,000 haberdasheries active in Tehran, but official statistics on button production and consumption are lacking, said the deputy head of Tehran Haberdashers Association.

Alireza Shahsavari was speaking in an interview with the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz.

On the potential of button industry, some fashion designers believe it’s sufficient to take a glance at one’s own clothes. Each one of us wear at least 10 buttons and so multiply that with the population to grasp the market potential.

However, the domestic buttons industry has been overwhelmed by imports.    

Hesam Pouyadel, a businessman in the field, said a huge volume of buttons made in China and India has swept into Iranian markets to meet the high domestic demand.

“The end-price of buttons imported from China is so low that smuggling is nowhere to be seen in this business and all items are shipped into the country legally. To import one kilogram of buttons, you have to pay 30,000 rials (around one dollar) as customs duties,” he said.

“Excessive imports have hit Iran’s apparel industry and its downstream businesses alike. Iranian producers don’t aim to raise productivity. Neither do they tap into modern technologies, whereas Chinese producers churn out billions of stunningly colorful smorgasbord of buttons using state-of-the-art machinery.”

Pouyadel believes that the button industry is so vast, you can make huge profits if you gain a comparative advantage to distinguish your products from those of your competitors.

“The markets of Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan Republic and Iraq could become export destinations for Iranian products like buttons,” he said.