Several new factories have come on line in Iran as the country boosts its manufacturing activity to add more jobs along with plans to diversify the economy away from crude.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the opening of six large factories in four provinces across Iran using a video call from his office in Tehran on Thursday.
Rouhani’s website said in a report that the projects had cost 35.77 trillion rials ($143 million) in government and private spending, including finances provided by foreign investors.
It said the factories will create a total of 881 permanent jobs.
The projects included two iron and steel production sites as well as a tile factory in the central province of Yazd, a major tobacco processing plant in the northern province of Zanjan, a sulfuric acid storage and export facility in the southeastern province of Kerman and a lime processing plant in the northwestern province of West Azerbaijan, according to a report by the official IRNA agency.
The launches come as the Iranian government proceeds with plans to boost manufacturing activity as it seeks to reduce its reliance on crude revenues and increase employment for the country’s young population.
Increased factory activity has helped Iran boost its non-oil exports as it keeps earning more from shipments of finished mining and metals products, as well as from the sale of petrochemicals, compared to recent years.
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) figures published last month shows that Iran’s manufacturing sector had expanded by 7.1% in the year to March from 2.3% in the previous year.
Elaborating on the CBI figures, Rouhani said during the Thursday inauguration ceremony that expanded manufacturing activity had been a main contributor to Iran’s positive economic growth over the last calendar year.