By Mahnaz Abdi

‘Knowledge-based’ strongly supported by Industry, Mining, Trade Ministry

April 19, 2022 - 13:45

TEHRAN- The current Iranian calendar year 1401 (began on March 21) is named “Production: Knowledge-Based and Job-Creating” by Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Given the significance of this approach for the country’s development, specially under the condition of sanctions, all ministries have already planned to materialize this slogan, among them Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade is one with strong determination to move toward knowledge-based production, which will definitely lead to creation of many jobs as well.

On March 26, Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin announced his ministry’s support to the knowledge-based products.

Making the remarks on the sidelines of the first cabinet meeting in the new Iranian year, the minister said: “Industries that move toward production of knowledge-based products or industries that create more jobs enjoy the support of the ministry.”

The ministry’s plans for the realization of the present year’s slogan will be in three levels in terms of the knowledge-based and job creation, the minister announced.

“In the first level, we rank, prioritize, target and determine indicators and we monitor. For example, in the export field, we will base the ranking of exporters on knowledge-based factor, that is, exporters who export knowledge-based products will receive higher rankings and points and will be more supported”, Fatemi-Amin said.

Industries that move toward production of knowledge-based products or industries that create more jobs are also supported by the ministry, he added.

The second level is dedicated to projects that need to be defined in this area, the minister said, adding, “Fortunately, we set up some infrastructure in the past year that will help the development of the knowledge-based and job creation”.

For example, issues such as chain financing and the payment of bill-based facilities solve many working capital issues, he added.

According to him, other issues such as the supply of raw materials through the mercantile exchange are also among these tasks.

Fatemi-Amin described the third level as the processes and structures of the ministry itself, and said, “Last year, with the restructuring of the ministry in all specialized offices such as Office of Automobiles, Textiles and Clothing Office, Office of Medical Equipment and Office of Rail Industries, we created a technology and innovation group that aims to connect the universities to various industries.”

Industrial estates to be turned into science, technology parks

A main plan of the ministry to materialize the slogan of the year is to turn the industrial estates to science and technology parks.

On March 27, the minister announced that in the near future, industrial estates that have the necessary infrastructure will be turned into science and technology parks in the country.

Making the remarks on the sidelines of a meeting between Industry, Mining and Trade Ministry and Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology, Fatemi-Amin said, "We must move in the direction of stopping sales of raw materials, and producing products that have special complexities.”

“There are spaces for knowledge-based work in many industrial estates, but they are more commonly seen for the mass-production spaces. And if Iran's economy is to be knowledge-based, the industrial parks that provide water, land, and electricity must go further and provide more services, such as scientific, legal, and marketing services to the companies”, he commented.

Global interaction leads to the production of complex products, that is, products that fewer countries produce and supply, and the sale of raw materials in the world is no longer of special value and does not create credibility, the minister said.

“If we want to have a say in the global and international economy, we should produce more complex export products”, he added.

Export of knowledge-based products prioritized

On April 15, the minister said the exports of knowledge-based products is one of the country’s new priorities in setting foreign trade policies for the current year.

“One of our priorities in foreign trade is to export knowledge-based goods instead of raw or semi-raw materials,” Fatemi-Amin reiterated.

“This year, considering the slogan of the year which is “Production: Knowledge-Based and Job-Creating”, we are completely revising the criteria for selecting the country’s top exporting companies, so that companies exporting knowledge-based goods are given more importance and would be among the top manufacturers,” the minister said.

According to the official, so far, knowledge-based industries have been mostly supply-oriented, which means a knowledge-based company worked on a product, process, or service, and the ministry sought to provide a market for it, but now the companies are moving toward becoming demand-oriented.

Large companies in various areas like the automotive, mining, and food industries need to re-define their processes to reduce prices and increase quality, and also implement new processes to move towards research and knowledge-based development, Fatemi-Amin stressed.

The official further mentioned attending a meeting with the representatives of over 30 major companies in which issues, ideas, and challenges in the way of the development of knowledge-based companies have been raised and discussed.

He noted that in case of the knowledge-based development of the country’s major industries, small companies can also cooperate with them in their projects, and this will have a great impact on the country’s economy.

The minister finally stated that the ministry should encourage competition among production units, adding that major companies can also move toward manufacturing their own needed machinery and equipment as well.

TPO prioritizes supporting knowledge-based export companies

Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), one of the three major subsidiaries of the ministry, has also announced its support to materialize the slogan of the year.

On March 25, TPO Head Alireza Peyman-Pak said that this organization supports the export of knowledge-based and job-creating products.

Referring to the slogan of 1401 by the Leader and the need to strengthen the export of knowledge-based goods, he said: “Since September of last year, with the emphasis of the minister of industry, mining and trade, the role of technology, the role of employment, the amount of investment and the comparative advantage of goods for export were determined and we tried to strengthen the trade of knowledge-based products while maintaining previous export procedures.”

Also, in a press conference on Monday, the TPO head said supporting knowledge-based export companies will be among TPO’s top priorities in the current year

“We are trying to shift export incentives to knowledge-based companies in the current year,” the official stressed.

IMIDRO lays ground for mining sector to move toward knowledge-based economy

Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), the other major subsidiary of the ministry, has also prepared some major plan to materialize the slogan of the year.

On April 17, Vajihollah Jafari, the head of the organization, said that IMIDRO lays the ground for the mining sector to move toward knowledge-based economy and has planned five strategies in this due.

Making the remarks in a meeting on the materialization of knowledge-based economy in the mining sector, the official said IMIDRO is investigating the ways to put the mentioned strategies into action in line with materializing the slogan of year.

These strategies include facilitating and improving the business environment and market of knowledge-based products, developing sustainable employment and completing the value chain based on innovation and new technologies, developing knowledge based on the fourth-generation industrial revolution and smartening, developing specialized knowledge-based companies in mining and mineral industries, and also the development of innovation infrastructure and new technologies in this sector, the official further explained.

The same approach has been also adopted by Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO), the third major subsidiary of the ministry.

On April 10, Ali Nabavi, the head of organization, referred to the IDRO’s accumulated knowledge and organizational maturity of more than half a century, and considered the supportive and facilitative interaction of this organization with the private sector necessary for the implementation of projects in line with the slogan of the year.

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