Car industry should be privatized to be competitive: Rouhani

March 2, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN- Car industry should be privatized in order to be turned into a global competitor, President Hassan Rouhani heralded on Tuesday.

Addressing the 3rd Iran Automotive Industry International Conference in Tehran, the president said carmakers, which form the second biggest sub-sector of the national economy behind oil, should cooperate closely with foreign companies to improve the quality of their products.

“The car industry must be completely privatized; it must be competitive,” Rouhani stressed.

“Our manufacturers must be world-class, and we will cooperate with foreign companies so that our manufacturers have a presence in world markets,” he added.

“Partnerships with international carmakers offer a shortcut to improving the industry’s technology and safety,” he noted.

Rouhani went on to say that “the way is now paved for the automotive sector to make advance and progress.”

“I am very hopeful about the future of national industry. We should plan to manufacture cars on a global scale, because it can play a key role in job creation and sustainable development of the country.”

Iran’s large car sector is one of the most attractive industries to foreign investors, who have flocked to Tehran since international sanctions were lifted in January following a deal with world powers.

Iran produces about 900,000 cars annually. The country hopes to increase the number to 3 million by 2025.

The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers has ranked Iran at 18th place on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers.   

---‘Environment protection and fuel efficiency should be top priorities’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani emphasized the need to observe environmental standards so that the protection of environment should be the car industry’s top priority.

“This is directly in relation with people’s health. We should have an industry with high quality and low pollution which could reduce energy consumption to a minimum acceptable level.”

---‘Government support could not be constant’

Rouahni also said that the government is obliged to meet people’s demands. “To this end, different measures such as restricting imports and applying high duties have been taken to support domestic manufacturers, but the support could not be constant. The automotive industry can be qualitative and competitive. The constant support of the government could lead to lower quality of products and exit from the global competition arena.”