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Iran cuts imports bill by $10bn amid growth in manufacturing

Iran has managed to cut back on imports by encouraging growth in its manufacturing sector. (Illustrative photo by IRNA)

Iran slashed its imports bill last calendar year by some $10 billion, says the country’s minister of trade as he insists the achievement was made possible by considerable growth in the manufacturing sector.

Alireza Razm Hosseini said on Wednesday that Iran had ended the year to late March with a record 7.5% growth in manufacturing activity.

Razm Hosseini said the growth had enabled the government to cut back on imports for thousands of products that were previously supplied from abroad.

The minister made the comments after the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei named the new calendar year as the year of “Production: Support and the Elimination of Obstacles.”

In his speech to mark the beginning of the new year on March 20, The Leader described efforts by the government to boost manufacturing activity over the past calendar year as “acceptable” while insisting that there were more works to do to improve conditions for manufacturers including by banning imports of goods that are produced inside Iran.

Razm Hosseini said his ministry of MIMT, which is also responsible for manufacturing and mining activity, would do its utmost to “eliminate unnecessary laws and regulations that hamper production”.

He said the MIMT would grant permissions for activating nearly 5,000 mining sites across Iran by late April.

Iran’s growing efforts to boost domestic manufacturing is in line with the country’s general policy of diversifying the economy away from crude and to minimize the impacts of unilateral foreign sanctions targeting crude exports.

The efforts seem to have paid off, as testified by major international organizations and experts who believe Iran’s economy will expand in the years to come regardless of how much the country earns from oil exports.

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