Doubling non-oil exports to neighbors atop agenda: PBO head

November 26, 2019 - 15:8

TEHRAN - Head of Iran’s Planning and Budget Organization (PBO) says the government is seeking to double the value of non-oil exports to the neighboring countries in the next Iranian calendar year (March 2020-March 2021), Press TV reported.

“Based on the targets set, we (have to) bring the non-oil exports to $48 billion from the $24-billion that we currently have,” Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht said on Monday, adding that setting the target had been agreed earlier in the day in a meeting involving high-profile government officials.

Stressing the urgent need for boosting non-oil exports in order to offset the drops in the oil revenues, Nobakht said Iran has been deprived of around $50 billion a year in oil sales income and non-oil exports should compensate for that loss.

Back in August, Iranian Deputy Industry Minister Hossein Modares Khiabani said his ministry has it on the agenda to increase the value of exports to Iran’s 15 neighbors up to $50 billion.

“Our goal is to be able to meet five percent of our neighboring countries' needs, which would amount to more than $50 billion a year considering the total imports of all the 15 countries which is at least $1 trillion annually,” Modares Khiabani said.

“Necessary planning and investigations have been made for achieving this target,” he added.

Increasing non-oil exports to the neighboring countries is one of the major plans that Iranian government is pursuing in the current Iranian calendar year (began on March 21).

Iran shares border with fifteen countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Oman, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

Based on the data published by Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPO), the value of trade with the neighboring countries stood at over $36.5 billion in the past Iranian calendar year; that is about 41 percent of the country’s total non-oil trade in the mentioned time span.

Iran plans to launch 15 mega export projects to identify more target markets, according to TPO’s former acting head, Mohammadreza Modoudi.

EF/MA

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