Economy, Domestic Economy

Tobacco Industry Eyes Foreign JVs

Tobacco Industry Eyes Foreign JVsTobacco Industry Eyes Foreign JVs

Foreign tobacco brands will come to Iran for joint venture production if cigarette imports cease by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2016), said the CEO of Iranian Tobacco Company.

“Based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16), the government is required to reduce cigarette imports down to zero by year’s end, and provide and attract assets for domestic and joint venture production. Aided by joint production, the tobacco industry will not only be able to meet domestic demand, but also export,” ISNA quoted Mohammad Hossein Barkhordar as saying.

He pointed to cigarette smuggling as the main threat to the tobacco industry and said contraband cigarettes dominate the market since domestic production cannot meet the consumers’ needs, adding that the issue can only be resolved by attracting foreign brands to invest in the country.

“Domestic production was neglected in recent years, and consequently our production facilities have not been upgraded for a long time,” said the official, highlighting “robust domestic production as the key to success.”

Iranian cigarettes are currently classified as classes B and C in terms of quality, and it is necessary to meet the consumer demand by producing class A cigarettes, he added.