EghtesadOnline: More than $30 million worth of furniture were exported from Iran during the first eight months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Nov. 22), showing a 40% increase compared with the similar period of last year, Trade Promotion Organization’s representative for furniture business said.
“The total exports of last [fiscal] year [March 2018-19] amounted to $27 million, indicating a 145% rise compared with the previous year. This is while the overall imports of furniture and the business’s required raw materials and intermediate goods stood at $9 million during the same period,” Mohsen Montazeri was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
This year so far, he added, there have been no imports of such products.
The official noted that Iran has the capacity to export around $500 million worth of furniture annually, Financial Tribune reported.
Hassan Ahmadian, a board member at Iran Export Confederation and head of Furniture Producers and Exporters Union, says Iran’s furniture industry has an annual turnover of 700 trillion rials ($5.44 billion).
“Wood and furniture business has generated 8% of Iran's employment,” he was quoted as saying by ILNA.
Ahmadian noted that the aforementioned union has selected its export targets based on cultural similarities, adding that these countries include Iraq, Russia, Oman, Qatar, Syria and the Eurasian Economic Union member states.
Tehran’s International Fairground will host the Ninth International Exhibition of Office Furniture and Equipment, also known as Office Expo 2020, and the 29th International Exhibition of Home Furniture from Dec. 26 to 29. These are considered among the biggest events in the field in the Middle East.
The western Iranian city of Malayer in Hamedan Province has been registered as the national hub of furniture production and wood carving.
Esmaeil Amini, the managing director of Marlik Furniture Production Group (a local furniture producer), told Financial Tribune in an interview that Malayer accounts for about 65-70% of Iran’s total furniture production.
According to Amini, over 15,000 people are working in Malayer in these fields.
“Some 85,000 sets of carved furniture are produced in Iran every year, 50,000 of which are produced in Malayer alone,” he said.
Referring to the presence of foreign products in the Iranian furniture market, Amini said imports, mainly from Turkey, Italy and China, have a 20-30% share in the domestic furniture market.
“As the development of furniture industry is heavily dependent on up-to-date technology and equipment, Iranian furniture producers have faced many problems because of sanctions, which prevented the import of technology,” Mahmoud Hosseinpour, the managing director of Honarvaran Furniture Gallery, told us in a separate interview.
"Unfortunately, the absence of latest technology and domestic barriers such as high import tariffs and heavy taxes have not allowed Iranian producers to reach their full potential."
Ramin Samizadeh of the Association of Furniture Makers says Iran is self-sufficient in the field of office furniture.
"Almost all the products in the market are domestically produced and their high quality has made them popular among customers," he said.
“Our office furniture exports are not more than $30 million annually, with most of the shipments heading to the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Central Asian countries. We have no exports of these items to Europe, though our house furniture does have customers in the green continent,” he said.