By Mahnaz Abdi

Neighboring countries hold 60% share of Iran’s non-oil exports

November 8, 2020 - 11:35

TEHRAN- Combatting the U.S. sanctions on its oil exports, Iran is determined to boost the export of non-oil products, and has defined a number of strategies to materialize this target.

According to Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht, the head of Iran’s Planning and Budget Organization (PBO), the country has been deprived of around $50 billion a year in oil sales income and non-oil exports should compensate for that loss.

“Based on the targets set, we (have to) bring the non-oil exports to $48 billion from the $24-billion that we currently have,” Nobakht had said last year.

While increasing non-oil exports is one of the major plans that Iranian government is pursuing, the neighboring countries come under the spotlight as some major export destinations.

Last year, the PBO head had said that the government was seeking to double the value of non-oil exports to the neighboring countries in this Iranian calendar year, which started on March 20.

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.

According to the recent data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, neighboring countries were the destinations for more than 60 percent of Iran’s non-oil exports during the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-October 21).

The IRICA data indicate that Iran has exported 41.818 million tons of commodities worth $11.522 billion to its neighbors, which constituted 63 percent of the value and 64 percent of the weight of its total non-oil exports during the mentioned period of time.

Importing 17.683 million tons of commodities worth $4.854 billion, Iraq was the top destination, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with importing 8.5 million tons of goods valued at $2.272 billion, Turkey with 4.794 million tons worth $1.489 billion, Afghanistan with 4.077 million tons valued at $1.325 billion, and Pakistan with 1.257 million tons worth $491 million.

It should be noted that Iran’s non-oil trade balance with its neighbors has been $3.422 billion in the first seven months of this year, which is an indication of the country’s policy of boosting non-oil exports to the neighboring country.

The head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) says the country is capable of doubling non-oil exports to its neighbors in two years.

Hamid Zadboum has said that considering the future capacities, the TPO has planned increasing non-oil exports to the neighboring countries to about $100 billion in a two-year time span, in a way that Iran’s share of the regional markets will significantly go up.

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