Economy, Domestic Economy

Iranian Carpets Hold 20% Share in Global Markets

Iran’s carpet exports were hard hit as a result of the sanctions.Iran’s carpet exports were hard hit as a result of the sanctions.

Iran currently holds a 20% share in the global markets for hand-woven carpets, Seyyed Razi Haj-Aqamiri, a board member at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, said.

“Worldwide transactions of hand-woven carpets amount to $1.5 billion per year. Following the opening up of Iran’s economy (after the removal of sanctions), our share reached $300 million,” he was quoted as saying by ILNA.

Sanctions against Iran’s nuclear energy program were lifted mid-January as part of a landmark nuclear deal the country signed with world powers last year. For its part, Iran agreed to limit the scope of its nuclear activities.

Iran’s carpet exports were hard hit as a result of sanctions. The United States—the biggest importer of Iran’s handmade rugs—banned the import of carpets, among other products, in September 2010.

“In 2010, 20% of our exports were shipped to North America, as the US was our main export destination. But during sanctions, exports came to a complete halt,” Haj-Aqamiri said.

Now that the sanctions are gone, exports are slowly gaining momentum. The Islamic Republic exported $27 million worth of hand-woven carpets to the US during the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 20-June 21, 2016), according to the head of Iran’s National Carpet Center.

The total export of handmade carpets during the period stood at $83 million, registering a 39.5% increase compared with last year’s corresponding period.

On average, Iran used to annually export $500 million worth of handmade rugs before sanctions took effect.