EghtesadOnline: Iranian Tobacco Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pishgaman Pakhsh Arman Gostar Company as the representative of Philip Morris International to import and jointly produce Marlboro cigarettes.
“ITC and the representative of Philip Morris International signed the MoU in the presence of the industries minister [Masoud Karbasian] last week,” Iranian parliamentarian, Nader Qazipour, told reporters, Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday.
Ali Asghar Ramzi, the head of Iranian Tobacco Planning and Supervision Center, also confirmed the news, saying that preliminary works have begun and “we hope to obtain the permit for cooperation soon”.
Marlboro accounts for a bigger share of cigarettes smuggled into the country, according to Financial Tribune.
A total of 49.3 billion cigarettes were produced in Iran during the last fiscal year (March 2017-18), registering a 10% rise compared with the year before.
“More than 360 million cigarettes were exported last year, indicating a 112% rise year-on-year,” Ramzi was also quoted as saying by ISNA.
Imports experienced an 18% decline YOY to stand at 3.2 billion during the period.
The official estimated that 2.7 billion cigarettes were smuggled into the country last year, indicating a 55% decrease YOY.
According to Ramzi, domestic cigarette production meets more than 90% of demand in Iran, as Iranians annually consume close to 55 billion cigarettes.