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Iran aims to capture 20% share of imports into neighboring countries: Official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization Hamid Zadboum

Iran has set a target to supply a fifth of all goods imported into 15 neighboring and nearby countries, says a senior trade official amid efforts to boost non-oil exports to compensate for losses suffered because of lower crude sales.

Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization Hamid Zadboum said on Wednesday that Iran’s exports to 15 neighboring and nearby countries should increase by nearly 10 times in the upcoming years to reach around $200 billion in value terms.

Exports to those states currently account for 60 percent of all non-oil shipments sent from Iran, said Zadboum, adding that the figure amounts to nearly $25 billion in hard currency revenues.

The official said, however, that Iran is seeking to significantly increase its exports to Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan and countries member to in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with whom Iran has entered into a preferential trade arrangement.

“We currently have preferential agreements with six (other) countries and a free trade arrangement with Syria while we are engaged in talks with Serbia to clinch a free trade deal,” said Zadboum.

Facing a series of American bans targeting its normal crude sales, Iran has encouraged exports of various goods and services in recent years to both offset the impacts of the sanctions on government finances and to spur more manufacturing and agricultural activity in the country.

Iran’s customs office announced on Tuesday that exports had declined by nearly a fifth year on year in the month to late January after the country saw shipments surge over the previous two months following an easing of coronavirus restrictions on trade.

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