Major auto makers to be privatized by March 2021

January 3, 2020 - 14:8

TEHRAN – Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Ministry plans to hand over the country’s major automakers to the private sector by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (March 2021), IRIB reported, quoting a deputy in the named ministry.

According to Afshar Fathollahi, the privatization process is going to be implemented in three phases.

The first phase, which is already underway, is the hand-over of non-productive assets, Fathollahi explained.

The next level would be awarding the subsidiaries of these carmakers, he said, adding these companies could be handed over to the private sector in the form of shares or full ownership.

This phase has also been started for some of the priority companies.

Ultimately, the main companies will be handed over by the end of the next year.

“According to our timetable, all three phases must have been completed by the mentioned date,” he added.

Back in October, the Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani had announced that his ministry is planning on handing over the country’s major automakers to the private sector.

“Automobile manufacturing companies are not going to be awarded to any real entity, but we are considering handing them over to the private sector,” the minister said.

He reiterated that the government is not interested in running businesses and it backs privatization.

Since the U.S. re-imposed sanctions on Iran to pressure the country’s economy, most of the European automakers active in the country has left under U.S. pressures, however, Iran has been taking necessary measures to mitigate the impact of the sanctions and counter the U.S. actions.

Improving and boosting domestic production has been one of the major strategies that Iran has been following in the past two years in order to increase its economy’s independence.

In mid-May 2019, Rahmani issued a directive on “strengthening domestic manufacturing of imported auto parts”.

He said the policy of domestic manufacturing of auto parts should be seriously followed up.

EF/MA

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