Economy, Domestic Economy

Sanctions Not the Only Evil

Sanctions Not the Only EvilSanctions Not the Only Evil

As the self-imposed deadline on nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers approaches, Iranian private sector activists’ concern is growing about the future of trade with the world. Many experts argue the ailing economy will not recover in the absence of strategic management in the post-sanctions era, pointing out that the possible lifting of sanctions will facilitate banking transactions but the economy will still be a long way from global competition.

“Sanctions are not the only impediment to exports,” says vice president of Export Confederation Mohammad Lahooti.

“Not being a member of the World Trade Organization, paucity of preferential tariffs and high production costs are bottlenecks that have nothing to do with sanctions,” he was quoted by Eghtesad News as saying.

The official added that some domestically produced goods are of higher quality compared to similar products in international markets, but internationally uncompetitive prices have hampered their export.

“Iran must pay a 50-100% tariff to export the same commodity that its rivals including Turkey and Pakistan can export at a 10% tariff,” Lahoori said stressing that “this makes for an unfair competition.”

Lahooti, who is also a member of board of representatives in Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, stressed that to help boost exports and trade, the existing  problems must be tackled before pinning all hopes on the final nuclear deal.

 Export-Oriented Approach

“Iran’s approach to trade is geared more towards imports rather than exports, and all facilities and resources have been devised according to this approach,” says Mohsen Bahrami Arz Aghdas, head of TCCIMA Trade Facilitation and Export Promotion Commission .

“As government advisors at TCCMA, we try to identify stumbling blocks to increasing non-oil exports,” he was quoted by ISNA as saying, adding that to this end granting privileges to top exporters such as incentives and awards, setting up a single-window system – a trade facilitation idea that enables cross-border traders to submit documents at a single location and/or single entity – at customs will be instrumental.