Economy, Domestic Economy

Call for Curbs on Border Markets

Call for Curbs on Border MarketsCall for Curbs on Border Markets

The Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade does not approve of expanding border markets, as these markets do not comply with standard trade regulations and have failed to generate significant income for residents of frontier regions, head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Valiollah Afkhami-Rad, said in a meeting aimed at reviewing proposals for improving the livelihood of border residents.

Referring to the suggestion put forth by the Ministry of Interior to expand border markets and provide technical services to neighboring countries, he said currently there is practically no interaction between certain border regions and the neighboring countries, IRNA reported.

“The Industries Ministry believes that establishing markets in border regions disturbs the regular process of trade with neighboring countries,” said the TPO head, suggesting that other solutions be considered for job creation for border residents.

Data provided by the Statistical Center of Iran indicate that the 26 border markets in the country accounted for a meager $405 million of the total $50 billion non-oil exports during the previous Iranian year (ended March 20). The border markets also accounted for only $78 million of the total $52.5 billion non-oil imports during the period.

Milak Border Market, located in the the eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan near the border with Afghanistan, recorded the highest value of exports during the period with $93.5 million. Mirjaveh in Zahedan Province and Parviz Khan in Kermanshah Province came next.

Parviz Khan Border Market in the western province of Kermanshah registered the highest volume of imports from Iraq, with $31 million. Mirjaveh in Zahedan Province and Sari Su in West Azarbaijan Province were the other major border markets in terms of imports.

  New Border Crossing With Iraq Proposed

Governor of Iraq’s eastern Wasit Province Malik Khalaf proposed establishing a new border crossing between Iran and Iraq, in a meeting with the governor of Iran’s western Ilam Province, Mohammad Reza Morvarid on Thursday.

“The proposal is aimed at increasing the flow of passengers and goods between the two countries,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

The new border crossing has been proposed to be located in Shahabi district across the town of Changouleh in Ilam Province, providing the shortest distance to Iraq’s holy city of Karbala, which attracts millions of Iranian pilgrims every year.

Morvarid welcomed the proposal, saying, “Expansion of trade with Wasit Province is a top priory for Ilam since the two provinces share long borders.”

Trade with Iraq currently stands at about $13 billion per year, according to Iran’s commercial counselor in Iraq, Mohammad Rezazadeh.

Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce had earlier announced plans by the two countries to expand bilateral trade to $25 billion per year.

Rezazadeh, however, claimed that the chamber has not lived up to expectations in expanding bilateral trade ties.

He suggested that the chamber open more provincial branches, with a focus on effective marketing methods to link member companies to economic opportunities in the neighboring country, Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Iran exports about $6 billion worth of non-oil goods and $4.2 billion worth of engineering and technical services to the Iraq annually, the official noted.