EghtesadOnline: A total of 1,170 industrial units located in Iran’s industrial parks and estates have been revived since the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2020), the deputy head of Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization said.
"By reviving these SMEs, more than 19,446 jobs were created or reinstated,” Asghar Masaheb was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
"More than 9,200 industrial units are currently inactive. The plan is to revive 2,000 industrial units by the end of the current [fiscal] year."
There are 820 industrial towns across the country.
According to the official, chemical industries accounted for the largest number of revived industrial units, as 290 such units have become operational this year.
Metalworking industries came after with 275 units, followed by food industries with 240 revived units.
“The revived units had been either partially or completely shut down due to the lack of working capital, loss of markets, inability to update technology and lack of investment,” Masaheb explained.
Official statistics show a total of 1,444 industrial units were revived in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20).
"The revival of each industrial unit regenerates jobs for an average of 18 people and costs 33 billion rials [$127,000] on average," he added.
Small businesses reportedly account for 52% of the total number of industrial units and 45% of industrial jobs in Iran.
Small- and medium-sized manufacturers located in industrial estates in Iran exported $2.4 billion worth of goods in the last fiscal year that ended on March 19, 2020, accounting for 5.8% of Iran's total non-oil exports ($41.37 billion).
Latest data show SMEs affiliated with Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization exported $1.74 billion worth of goods during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21) to register a 16.7% growth compared with the similar period of last year.
The main export destination of these SMEs was Pakistan with around $1 billion, followed by Iraq with $364 million, Afghanistan with $83 million, the UAE with $50 million, Turkey with $36 million, Azerbaijan with $26 million, Armenia with $25 million and India with $20 million.
The exported products were foodstuff, steel and steel containers with 20-liter capacity, plastic containers and chemicals that prevent gas hydrate formation.
A total of 430 SME units across the country exported their products during the six-month period under review.
Khorasan Razavi with $343.9 million, Tehran with $133.7 million, East Azarbaijan with $123.2 million, Fars with $88.7 million, Yazd with $83.7 million topped the provinces with the highest volume of exports in H1.
A total of 1,535 small- and medium-sized enterprises and projects with a physical progress of above 60% received a total of 39,000 billion rials ($150 million) in loans during the first half of the current fiscal year.
The overall volume of ratified loans planned to be allocated to these SMEs and projects tops 113,000 billion rials ($437 million), IRNA reported.
Khorasan Razavi, Semnan, Isfahan and Qom registered the highest number of loan applicants during the period.
The highest number of eligible applicants introduced to designated banks was the highest in Semnan with 299 projects, Gilan 143 projects and Khorasan Razavi with 131 projects.
Each country has its own definition of what constitutes a small- and medium-sized enterprise.
By definition of Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization, enterprises run by 100 workers or less, and 50 workers or less are considered medium- and small-sized enterprises respectively.
In the United States, there is no distinct way to identify small- and medium-sized enterprises. The European Union offers clearer definitions, characterizing a small-sized enterprise as a company with fewer than 50 employees and a medium-sized enterprise as one with less than 250 employees. In addition to SMEs, there are micro-companies that employ up to 10 employees.
SMEs' share in Japan’s exports comprises 60%, Taiwan’s is at 70% and Singapore’s is at 90%.
Though small in size, small- and medium-sized enterprises play an important role in the economy. They outnumber large firms considerably, employ vast numbers of people and are generally entrepreneurial in nature, helping to shape innovation.
SMEs constitute 92% of Iran’s 85,000 manufacturing enterprises.
Many people in emerging economies find work in SMEs that contribute roughly 45% of total employment and 33% of GDP in these countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.