EghtesadOnline: Clusters of small and medium-sized enterprises earned a total of $274 million from exports in the last fiscal year (March 2017-18).
Data provided by Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization indicate that SME clusters located in East Azarbaijan Province were frontrunners during the period, as they exported $80 million worth of commodities produced mainly by eight industrial clusters, namely “Tabriz Oil and Gas Equipment” ($6 million), “Tabriz Leather” ($3.3 million), “Tabriz Nuts and Dried Fruit” ($3 million), “Tabriz Stone” ($64,000), “Auto Parts” ($140,000), “Maragheh, Bonab Malekan Raisins” ($24.5 million), “Tabriz Shoe” ($50,000) and “Home Appliances” ($43.5 million), the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.
The second biggest export cluster among Iranian SMEs pertained to Bushehr with fish and seafood exports worth $74 million. Bushehr lies in a vast plain running along the Persian Gulf coast of southwestern Iran, SME exports of which only consisted of fish and seafood last year.
Thanks to $41 million worth of exports by the business cluster of “Mashhad Saffron”, Khorasan Razavi’s SMEs ranked third among top provincial exporters, Financial Tribune reported.
SMEs based in Hormozgan managed to sell around $28 million through the cluster of “Dates and Fishery Products” overseas last year. Dates worth $646,000 and fishery products worth more than $27 million were exported by the southern province of Hormozgan.
Exports by SMEs of South Khorasan and Kermanshah stood at nearly $13 million each. “Birjand, Nahbandan and Qaen Poultry” was the main business cluster of South Khorasan’s SMEs last year. The two main clusters of Kermanshah were “Polyethylene” with exports worth more than $567,000 and “Dairy Products” with exports worth more than $12 million.
SMEs located in the provinces of Ardabil exported $470,000 worth of plastic products, Isfahan exported carpets and stones worth more than $2.6 million and Alborz exported plastic products valued at $450,000.
Exports by SMEs of Tehran Province constituted tires and plastic products worth $1.7 million. Semnan’s SMEs exported auto parts worth more than $3.2 million, Sistan-Baluchestan’s business cluster of “Chabahar and Konarak Fishery Products” earned more than $9 million overseas and Kerman Province’s SMEs exported hand-woven carpets worth $645,000. Markazi Province’s “Arak Waterproofing and Oil, Gas, Petchem and Power plant Facilities” cluster exported more than $4.4 million last year. Hamedan Province’s exports through business clusters stood at only $5,000, including that of “Malayer Wood Carving and Sofa” and Yazd Province’s clusters exported stones worth $30,000 last year.
The SIIPO data also show Iranian SMEs exported a total of $2.7 billion worth of commodities last year.
The category of clusters apart, exports of individual SMEs stood at $2.2 billion while those of consortiums amounted to $151 million.
According to Farshad Moqimi, the deputy head of SIIPO, a total of 98,562 jobs were created by Iranian SMEs, 2,575 industrial units became operational and 1,462 units that were not operating due to various problems were helped back on their feet last year.
In line with the goals of Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22), a $100 million capital increase in Investment Guarantee Fund for SMEs will be considered in the current fiscal year’s (started March 21) annual budget, the fund’s managing director, Mohammad Hossein Moqiseh, said in October 2017.
By definition, enterprises run by 50 workers or less, and 100 workers or less are considered small- and medium-sized enterprises respectively, according to ISIPO.