EghtesadOnline: The 25th International Tiles, Ceramic and Sanitary Ware Exhibition, also known as CERAFAIR 2018, opened in Tehran on Tuesday.
Officials present at the event hoped that the government will support the national tile and ceramic industry in prevailing over challenges.
“The government’s monetary policy has complicated the procurement of raw materials required for tile and ceramic industry. The administration is expected to overcome obstacles facing the industry,” said Mohammad Roshanfekr Fallah, the head of Iran Tile and Ceramic Association.
Iran’s tile and ceramic industry is grappling with numerous difficulties, including lack of preferential trade agreements with neighboring countries, most notably with Iraq, which is the main destination of Iran’s tile and ceramic exports, accounting for more than 67% of Iran’s exports to that country, Financial Tribune reported.
The lack of such agreements results in Iranian exporters being taxed with high tariffs in the export markets.
Iranian producers seem reluctant to invest in marketing strategies and are unable to enter international markets as a result of their focus on the region’s unstable markets, according to a report by Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.
Although Iran’s tile and ceramic exports increased by almost 12% in the last Iranian year (March 2017-18) compared with the year before to stand at 373 million cubic meters of products worth $410 million, it still constitutes less than 0.4% of the international export market.
Fallah believes that with sufficient governmental support, the industry can produce 500 million cubic meters of products per year.
CERAFAIR 2018 is underway at Tehran’s International Exhibition Center in an area of 30,000 square meters, hosting 116 domestic participants and 16 companies from Spain, Italy, China and India.
It opened on July 10 and is set to receive visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until July 13.
The exhibition features products in seven categories, namely tile and ceramic, machinery and equipment, sanitary ware, paint and varnish, raw materials, triple-fired tiles and valves, and related publications.
The event is organized annually with the aim of familiarizing merchants, producers, engineers and designers with the latest designs and breakthroughs of the tile and ceramic industry, introducing producers to potential export markets and preparing the ground for the industry’s problems to be solved by attracting foreign and domestic investors.