By Ebrahim Fallahi

Comprehensive plan underway for developing industrial parks, SMEs

June 15, 2021 - 15:47

TEHRAN – Over the past two decades, the Iranian economy has been constantly faced with external deterrents like sanctions and political pressure, thus the country has been urged to push for a more resilient and independent economy.

Promoting domestic production and cutting reliance on foreign sources became more significant for the government since the re-imposition of the U.S. sanctions on Iran in 2018.

Putting more emphasis on the issue, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Seyed Ali Khamenei named the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20) the year of “Surge in Production” and the motto of the current year is also focusing on domestic production since the year is named “production: Support and Elimination of Obstacles”.

In this regard, promoting the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and industrial parks has been put atop agenda by the government and especially the Industry, Mining and Trade Ministry over the past two years.

Since SMEs account for nearly 50 percent of Iran's total industrial sector and more than 20 percent of the country’s non-oil exports are done by such units.

As the main body in dealing with the promotion of SMEs in the country, Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization (ISIPO) has been implementing several programs for realizing the mentioned goals and to pave the way for the development of the mentioned sector.

ISIPO Head Ali Rasoulian, on Monday, announced the details of a comprehensive plan comprising of 100 different programs for developing the country’s SMEs and industrial parks in the current Iranian calendar year.

The mentioned plan is mainly focused on developing the infrastructure needed for the promotion of industrial parks and consequently the SMEs in such parks.

According to Rasoulian, the plan has been prepared with the current year’s budget allocated for the Industry Ministry in consideration, so all the programs in this package must be implemented with precision and in line with financial criteria set by the ministry.

“Provincial bodies should observe all legal requirements, standards, and licenses in the implementation of the programs to ensure financial discipline in accordance with rules and regulations,” the official said.

ISIPO will also make the necessary follow-ups with other government bodies and ministries to fulfill their obligations for providing electricity, water, natural gas, and telecommunication services to industrial parks and SMEs.

Memorandums of understanding (MOUs) have also been signed with the Forests, Rangelands, and Watershed Management Organization and the National Land and Housing Organization to provide land for the establishment and development of Industrial parks and zones across the country, the official said.

Industry, Mining, and Trade Ministry also plans to revive 1,600 idle industrial units throughout the country in the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 21).

Rasoulian said that these units are generally stagnant or operating below capacity for a variety of reasons.

Referring to reviving 1,557 idle units in the country during the past Iranian calendar year, the official said that 59 percent of those units’ problem was due to the financing.

With the aim of reactivating stagnant units or units that are operating below capacity, 900 consultants from the private sector and knowledge-based companies were selected in the form of industry clinics across the country to recognize the weaknesses of these units, the official stated.

He also informed that the new incentive package of ISIPO, which has also been approved by the minister of industry, mining and trade, has been announced.

Deputy Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mehdi Sadeqi Niaraki has said that over 6,500 new industrial units were established across the country during the past year which created jobs for over 121,000 people.

Touching upon the Industry Ministry’s plans for the realization of the motto of the current year which is named the year of “Production: support and the elimination of obstacles” by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, the official said: “In the year that has been dedicated to the production sector by the Leader of the revolution, the orientation of all government organizations and executive bodies should be towards supporting the country’s industrial and mining units.”

Niaraki pointed to a 40-percent increase in the issuance of establishment licenses for industrial units in the previous year, saying: “The number of establishment licenses increased to more than 36,000 last year, which shows that people are encouraged to invest in the productive sectors.”

He also mentioned an 85-percent rise in the allocation of land for establishing industrial units across the country and noted that over 4,500 hectares of land were handed over to applicants in the previous calendar year.

According to the official, there are over 46,000 small and medium-sized industrial units in Iran’s industrial parks and zones, of them about 9,200 units are inactive.

EF/MA

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