EghtesadOnline: Following sharp price hikes and a decline in supply in Iran’s laptop and computer parts market, a specialized taskforce has been established to streamline imports.
The taskforce has been set up by Iran’s ICT Guild Organization, affiliated to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, Tehran Information Technology Union and Computer and Electronics Importers Association that works under the auspices of Iran Chamber Of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
According to local news website Peivast, import disruptions and forex volatilities have created chaos in Iran’s computer market, with prices changing by the hour.
Peyman Iravani, the importers’ guild director, said various issues have complicated the process of bringing laptops and computer parts into Iran, according to Financial Tribune.
“The three entities contributing to the taskforce are to prepare a detailed report about the market,” he said, adding that firms need to make an online registration with the Industries Ministry for getting the import permit.
However, the system has numerous flaws and almost all companies have complained about them.
The Iranian government has set up a digital system for regulating the allocation of foreign currencies to importers through Nima (the Persian acronym for Integrated Forex Deals System). Just like the permit registration website, this system is also riddled with bugs and flaws.
“Computer imports have faced problems in registering for permits and also when using Nima,” Iravani said.
He noted that the taskforce will develop a detailed report of all these issues and deliver it to related authorities.
The problems have also taken a toll on average users. Prices of computers have more than doubled over the past year in Iran and a desktop computer costs over 35 million rials ($305) these days.
As computers become costlier in Iran, demand has declined.
Business insiders say forex fluctuations and hurdles in the way of imports are turning the goods into a luxury that many cannot afford.
Mehdi Mir-Mehdi Komijani, the head of Tehran IT Union, earlier told reporters that computer accessories have seen a staggering price hike of 70% and computer hardware has experienced a 60% rise.
Komijani says due to import bottlenecking, the commodities have become scarce and customers are facing empty racks of shops, which has consequently triggered an across-the-board price surge.
The union chief maintained that importers’ activities heavily depend on foreign exchange rates, adding that “almost 98% of electronics and IT goods are imported into the country, as well as the raw materials and parts necessary for the production of keyboards, computer mouses and speakers”.
Komijani also complained that Nima has failed to properly cater to the IT sector's needs.
“On average, from every 10 requests for allocation of foreign currencies, two are referred to Nima and the rest are rejected,” he said.
The official stressed that domestic products have also experienced a 35% jump in prices.
Several Iranian companies are assembling devices like keyboards and speakers from imported parts.
According to Komojani, with the market plunging deeper into a bottomless pit every day, authorities need to intervene and regulate the situation.