By Mahnaz Abdi

Annual industrial growth of 2.1% achieved despite limitations

June 20, 2020 - 14:4

TEHRAN- Iran’s industry sector experienced a 2.1-percent growth during the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19) as the country managed to support and empower domestic production, Saeed Zarandi, the deputy industry, mining and trade minister for planning, said in a press conference on Saturday.

The official also put the annual growth in the mining sector at 1.9 percent and reiterated that the growth has been achieved in the industry and mining sectors despite all limitations (created by the sanctions).

“Our industry also has grown in the present year despite the coronavirus pandemic, in a way that 14 items out of the 16 items that we had planned to boost their production have already witnessed growth”, he noted and mentioned washing machine and TV set, refrigerator and fridge, cement, and car tire as some of those products.

The deputy minister further underscored the country’s achievements in the production of anti-corona products and healthcare items since the year start.

Last week, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand said that despite the great demand for anti-corona medical items in the early days of the pandemic, Iran has become an exporter of such products.

Implementing 200 major industrial, mining, trade projects

Zarandi further announced that the ministry is going to implement 200 major projects in the industrial, mining and trade sectors during the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20, 2021).

He said that some 1.69 quadrillion rials (about $40.23 billion) has been invested in the mentioned projects that are going to create job opportunities for 41,000 people.

These projects are going to be implemented under a new program called “Persistent Production-Effective Employment-Sustainable Exports”.

In terms of the number of projects, Kerman Province with 26 projects and in terms of the volume of investment, Khuzestan Province with nearly 360 trillion rials (about $8.57 billion), have the largest share of the said projects in the country, according to Zarandi.

He noted that the mentioned projects, which are characterized by factors like completing the industry’s value chain, reducing imports, being export-oriented, using technology, and creating jobs have been selected as national projects.

Currently, there are 12,500 projects with physical progress of over 60 percent across the country, among them the mentioned 200 major projects have been selected to be completed this year.

Of the 12,500 projects, 6,000 are related to leading and prioritized industries, according to the official.

He said the ministry has named nine industries as the leading industries and is planning to strengthen them in a course of five to ten years.

He mentioned the manufacturing of industrial and mining machinery as one of those leading industries.

Benefitting from capital market

The deputy minister further referred to befitting from the capacities of the capital market as one of the major priorities of the ministry in the present year.

“We selected 500 companies to be listed on the stock market, of them 148 companies expressed readiness”, he announced, adding, “Our plan is that each week one production company will have initial public offering (IPO) or publish securities in the stock market in a way that 100 industrial companies will be listed on the stock market in this year”.

Earlier this month, during a meeting on expanding financial resources for the production sector through the capital market, the official had said, “According to the previous years’ investigations it was found that the main problem in industry and production sector and also trade sector is lack of liquidity, and it is while the country is facing a high volume of liquidity.”

There are various methods in the world to lead the capital toward production, Zarandi stated, adding one of these methods is leading the micro capitals toward production units and the stock market is one of the best ways to do so.

Supplying raw materials on agenda

Answering to a question about the ministry’s programs for supplying the required raw materials for the production units, Zarandi said, “Our second priority, after supplying the basic goods, is to supply raw materials.”

“In this field, we also plan to take advantage of domestic production”, he reiterated.

As the current Iranian calendar year (began on March 20) is named the year of “Surge in Production”, all ministries have defined plans to materialize this motto.

In early April, the former industry, mining and trade minister, Reza Rahmani, had outlined his ministry’s major programs for supporting the domestic production in this year.

Developing technology and promoting knowledge-based industries, development of domestic production in line with the Leader’s stresses on surge in production, managing imports and development of non-oil exports, improving the business environment, development of financing and investment and finally development of logistics were reported to be the seven major axes of the Industry, Mining and Trade Ministry’s works in the current year.

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