Economy, Domestic Economy

No Import Restrictions, Plans to Boost Exports

No Import Restrictions, Plans to Boost ExportsNo Import Restrictions, Plans to Boost Exports

The government has no plans to impose import restrictions or prioritize the import of certain commodities in the next Iranian year (starting March 21), head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), Valliollah Afkhamirad said on Saturday, noting that the trade policy for the upcoming year is mainly focused on boosting the level of exports.

"While the government plans to provide importers with hard currency earned from exports, it has not laid out any import restrictions or priorities for next year, Afkhamirad asserted, noting that: "Any interference with import activities is against clause 103 of the law for the fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-2016)."

“Prioritizing imports was a policy introduced by the previous government at a time when the country was faced with sharp decline in hard currency revenues. However, the economic situation is favorable now,” he was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying.

In 2012, authorities introduced a program to clamp down on import of some luxury products including expensive cars and mobile phones in a bid to save billions of dollars required for importing essential commodities considering the shortage of hard currency, especially the US dollar.  

As per the program, authorities categorized the imported commodities into 10 groups based on how essential they were, and provided importers of high priority goods with forex at a subsidized rates of 12,260 rials (the official exchange rate in 2012). The dollar's market rate was around 30,000 rials at the time.

> Non-Oil Exports to Reach $60b

The official further said the government is planning to increase the level of non-oil exports by at least 20% in the coming year. “The government's revenues from non-oil exports are expected to reach $48 to $50 billion before the end of the current year (ending 20 March), and we plan to increase this figure to $60 billion in the coming year."

According to a report released by Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), Iran exported 42.5 billion dollars worth of commodities in the first 10 months of the current calendar year.

The government is trying to implement plans, including offering tax-exemption to the exporters in line with its objective to boost exports.

Earlier this month, First Vice President, Es’haq Jahangiri said the government is intent on reviving the forsaken export incentives policy to help stimulate non-oil exports that can be replaced with susceptible traditional exports of oil and oil-based commodities.

“President Hassan Rouhani and the government are resolute to support non-oil exports. A new comprehensive directive is in the making for the revival of export incentives,” he said in a meeting with exporters.