EghtesadOnline: A total of 4,527 tons of apparel worth $35.19 million were exported from Iran to 29 countries during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Aug. 21), according to the spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Our export destinations were Iraq, Kuwait, Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, South Korea, Japan, the UAE, the UK, Venezuela, the Ivory Coast, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Qatar, Oman, Nigeria, Switzerland, Yemen, Georgia, Spain and Denmark,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The official noted that last year, Iran only exported apparel to four countries, namely Afghanistan, Russia, Iraq and Yemen.
“Though apparel imports are banned, such commodities enter the country through suitcase trade,” he said.
“IRICA’s latest figures show that 2.5 tons of a wide range of clothing worth $514,441 have entered the country during the five-month period under review."
Apparel production in Iran is thriving these days, because of import restrictions and the rising prices of foreign brands.
"The share of foreign products has dramatically decreased in the Iranian apparel market due to the ban on imports and a rise in foreign currency rates. [As a result] domestic producers have gained greater motivation to use this opportunity and improve the quality of their products," said Morteza Mirmohammadi, an official with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
Foreign brands, mainly Turkish ones, are being replaced with quality Iranian products, he added.
Mirmohammadi noted that this achievement (growth in output and production of good quality apparel) has been realized with the import of up-to-date machinery and technology, adding that despite sanctions, good investments have been made in the apparel industry lately.
Hassan Nilforoushzadeh, secretary-general of Iran Textile Industry Association, told Fars News Agency last year that 98% of Iran’s textile industry are owned by the private sector, and if it wasn’t so, it would have been banished altogether.
“Our main plight is the huge amount of contraband items that enter the country. It seems that even the police can’t stop the smuggling. Other handicaps include money transaction, foreign exchange and transportation problems caused by reimposed US sanctions,” he said.
The official said the textile industry has created close to 600,000 direct jobs.
The purchasing power of Iranians have declined in recent years, leading to lower apparel sales. The rise in domestic production could reverse this trend, provided manufacturers boost the quality and variety of their products.