EghtesadOnline: On the order of the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei regarding the need to support domestic products, the government is preparing a list of goods, the imports of which will be either banned or restricted, a deputy minister of industries, mining and trade said.
The list pertains to imported commodities that are already being manufactured by local producers.
“Imports of some goods will be restricted by increasing customs duties while the entry of certain other goods will be altogether banned,” Mojtaba Khosrotaj, who doubles as the chairman of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Speaking at the Eid al-Fitr prayers on June 16, the Leader strongly urged businesspeople active in foreign trade to abstain from importing non-essential commodities produced inside the country, Financial Tribune reported.
Earlier, the Leader dubbed the current Iranian year, which began on March 21, “Support for Iranian Products”.
“If domestic production is accelerated through the efforts and follow-up measures of everyone, many of the people’s livelihood problems as well as employment and investment issues will be resolved and social problems will largely decrease,” the Leader said in his New Year message, his official website reported.
Ayatollah Khamenei, who has in recent years repeatedly emphasized the importance of insulating the economy from sanctions and hostile foreign activity, said supporting domestic products and industries plays a significant role in easing economic woes.
The Leader also underlined the importance of reducing reliance on imports in a speech in the holy city of Mashhad, the capital of the northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province, on the first day of the new Iranian year (March 21).
He said detailed planning to step up production, improving the quality of Iranian products, adapting them to the requirements of consumers and making them more competitive vis-à-vis foreign counterparts can help spur investments in and development of local industries.
Ayatollah Khamenei urged the country’s diplomats, economic officials and businesspeople to focus on identifying new export markets, as it will help generate employment.
"Another necessary measure is strict control by the government over imports," he said, stressing that products that are being produced domestically should not be imported.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration recently announced that it will allow local producers to clear their raw material imports before they go through customs procedures and formalities within a week.
“Only a small fraction of the raw materials will be kept by IRICA and that won’t cause a serious problem for producers. The offer is not applicable to imports with tariff levels of above 26%, which usually have local counterparts. Their customs tariffs and duties must be paid first,” Ali Maqouli, an official with IRICA, said.
IRICA's latest report shows 5.26 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $6.79 billion were imported into Iran during the first two months of the current fiscal year (started March 21), registering a 0.49% growth compared with last year's corresponding period.
Imports mainly included auto parts ($333 million), field corn ($296 million), soybean ($248 million), rice ($184 million) and machinery parts ($144 million).
Major exporters to Iran included China with $1.73 billion worth of exports, the UAE with $986 million, South Korea with $423 million, Germany with $357 million and Turkey with $353 million.
According to Khosrotaj, Iran imported $1.03 billion worth of consumer goods during the same two-month period to register a 2.7% decrease compared with the same period of last year.
“Consumer goods accounted for 15.3% of the country’s total imports, while intermediate and capital goods constituted 63.5% and 15.4% of total imports, respectively. Items classified as 'others' made up 5.8% of the total,” he declared.