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Iranian president calls for trade policy overhaul

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)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi is seen in this September 7, 2021 while attending a meeting of the Iranian Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Headquarters. (Photo by

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has called for an overhaul in the country’s trade policies so that exports can increase and manufacturers can boost their output to respond to a growing domestic demand.

Raeisi told a high-profile meeting of the Iranian Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Headquarters on Tuesday that Iran should invest more on non-crude exports while seeking to cut back on massive imports of foods and medicines.

“The approach of departments in various economic fields, especially in the food and medicine manufacturing sectors, should be revised from an import-oriented approach to localization of manufacturing and expansion of non-crude exports,” Raeisi was quoted as saying in a report by the Iranian presidency office.

The report said that Raeisi had ordered Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade as well as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance to come up with new plans and solutions to boost local manufacturing, especially in the  home appliances sector where Iran has experienced a major boom in recent years.

Raeisi also ordered a revision of policies governing the imports of goods and products that have domestic rivals, said the report. 

Iran has reported a major surge in non-crude exports since mid-2018 when its crude sales came under direct American sanctions.

Government figures show exports of petrochemicals and agricultural products have accounted for a bulk of Iran’s hard currency revenues over the past three years.

The boom in exports has also caused a major growth in agricultural and manufacturing activity while helping the government to create more jobs for Iran’s young population.

In his Tuesday remarks, Raeisi insisted that revised trade policies should enable Iran to achieve a “jump in non-crude exports” in the upcoming years.

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