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Philippines to buy Iranian crude

Philippines to buy Iranian crude - Mehr News Agency صادرات نفت TEHRAN, May 14 (MNA) – Director of Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) has reported on purchase of 250 thousand barrels of crude oil from Iran aiming to supply feedstock to a new refinery complex.

The Philippines aims to construct a 400-thousand-barrel refinery and has conducted negotiations with the National Iranian Oil Company hoping to supply 250 to 260 thousand barrels of feedstock to the new complex.

Member of Board of Directors of CEO of PNOC Pedro Aquino said the purchase could take place either after the refinery in constructed or even earlier.

The official highlighted that the refinery was compatible with various types of oil including Iran’s light and heavy crude.

“The project is worth about two to three billion dollars and presently studies are being carried out to identify a suitable location for the project,” Aquino stated.

Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC), as a member of Pergas International Consortium (P.I.C), recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Iranian Oil Company on the sidelines of Iran Oil Show 2017 in Tehran. The cooperation agreement pertains to carrying out development studies in Pazanan oil field as well as the third phase of Darkhoein oilfield.

HA/3977601

Iran’s economy minister arrives in China

نشست خبری علی طیب‌نیا

Tehran (ISNA) - Iranian minister of economic affairs and finance Ali Tayebnia arrived in Beijing on Saturday to attend Belt and Road Forum.

Tayebnia will participate in the forum in Beijing on May 14-15 as Iran’s representative.

A part of the 'Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road' initiative launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) is being attended by 29 heads of states, 9 prime ministers, 7 ministers, 190 ministries officials from around the world, 89 representatives from 61 international organizations including UN Secretary General, World Bank president and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director as well as 1200 states officials, experts and heads of institutions from 110 countries.

Tayebnia will meet with Chinese officials and the representatives of other countries on the sideline of the forum.

5000 local and foreign reporters will cover the important event.

End Item

Iran Exports $70mln Worth of Goods via Chabahar in 1 Year

Economy

Iran Exports $70mln Worth of Goods via Chabahar in 1 Year

Iran Exports $70mln Worth of Goods via Chabahar in 1 Year

TEHRAN (FNA)- Managing Director of Chabahar Free Zone Organization Abdulrahim Kordi announced that Iran exported $70mln worth of goods and petrochemical products through Chabahar in the past Iranian year (ended on March 20).

"Last year, $70mln of exports were carried out in Chabahar free zone and we had focused on the downstream petrochemical industries and packaging industries," Kordi told reporters in a press conference on Sunday.

He predicted that in the current year, exports of goods from Chabahar will increase 2.5 times compared with the previous year.

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Kordi announced that the number of foreign companies that have registered in Chabahar Free Trade Zone over the past two years has increased considerably.

"A total of 63 firms from different world countries had been registered Chabahar Free Zone since the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," Kordi said.

The official pointed to Chabahar's important role in job creation, and said, "240 companies have been established in the zone over past to years."

 

 

 

 

<div>Deputy Minister: Over 600 Iranian, Foreign Firms to Participate in Int'l 'Iran Health' Exhibition</div>

Medicine

Deputy Minister: Over 600 Iranian, Foreign Firms to Participate in Int'l 'Iran Health' Exhibition

Deputy Minister: Over 600 Iranian, Foreign Firms to Participate in Int'l 'Iran Health' Exhibition

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of Iranian and foreign companies will participate in the 20th International Iran Health Exhibition due to be held on May 16-19, Deputy Industry Minister Mohammad Javad Qanbari said on Sunday.

"Over 600 Iranian and foreign companies will attend the International Exhibition for Medical and Laboratory Equipment, Pharmaceutical Products and Health Care Services (Iran Health)," Qanbari told reporters in Tehran today.

He said that 180 producers of medical equipment from different countries, including Germany, Poland, South Korea, Austria, Malaysia, Turkey, Ukraine, the US, Britain and Denmark will display their products in the exhibition.

Qanbari also underscored that Iran enjoys good potentials and capabilities to develop health tourism.

Iran health International Exhibition, which will be held concurrent with several national medical workshops, is a comprehensive fair which covers Medical, Dental, Laboratory Equipment, Pharmaceutical Products and Health care Services.

The exhibition will be held at Tehran permanent international fairground on May 16-19.

 

 

 

 

Official: Iran, Afghanistan Double Trade Exchanges

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran and Kabul have doubled their trade volume in a three-year time, a senior Afghan official announced.

"The level of trade exchanges between Iran and Afghanistan reached $2 billion over the past year Iranian Calendar (starting at March 21, 2016)," Spokesman for Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries Musafer Qoqandi said.

He reiterated that there has been a considerable boost in Tehran-Kabul economic relations over past three years, specially after the nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers.

"This shows a twofold rise in the volume of trade exchanges between the two neighboring nations," Qoqandi added.

He reiterated that Iran and Afghanistan have also expanded their relations in other areas in the past three years, and said, "Construction of Khaf-Herat railway project is an example."

In relevant remarks in early April, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Spokesman Seyamuddin Pesarlai underlined that Iran has turned into his country's biggest trade partner.

"Iran is now Afghanistan’s biggest trade partner with trade exchanges between the two countries hitting $1.8 billion,” Pesarlai said.

The senior Afghan trade official underlined that 80 percent of the transactions relates to imports from Iran and the rest is related to the export to the country.

Pesarlai, meantime, pointed to the 50 percent decrease in Afghanistan-Pakistan trade ties, and said that the two countries previously had more than $2 billion trade exchanges, but now it has dropped to $1 billion.

 

 

 

 

Envoy Calls for Expanding South Africa-Iran Ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- South African Ambassador to Iran William Whitehead called for broadening of Pretoria-Tehran relations in different fields.

"The implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will help Iran and South Africa to expand their mutual cooperation," Whitehead said on Sunday, addressing Joint Iran-South Africa Meeting in Tehran.

The South African ambassador said that Iran is an important economic power in the Middle East and it has access to the Central Asian and Eurasia countries as well as Silk Road.

In relevant remarks in October 2016, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in a meeting in Pretoria underlined the need for the further expansion of bilateral ties.

During the meeting in the South African capital, Jaberi Ansari and Nkoana-Mashabane explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating mutual cooperation in different areas.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister briefed Nkoana-Mashabane about the results of Iran-South Africa Joint political committee, and said, "Iran is ready to broaden cooperation with South Africa in all areas."

Nkoana-Mashabane, for her part, pointed to the good relations between the two countries, and said that South Africa is ready to host the 13th round of joint commission between the two countries before the upcoming visit of President Hassan Rouhani to Pretoria.

In April 2016, Tehran and Pretoria in a joint statement issued at the end of South African President Jacob Zuma's official visit to Iran underlined the need for fast growth in expansion of ties and mutual cooperation.

Iran and South Africa underlined broadening their bilateral ties in different areas in their joint statement.

The two sides also agreed to expand mutual cooperation in regional and international areas.

 

 

 

 

Envoy Calls for Boosting Iran-Cuba Ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Cuba Kambiz Sheikh Hassani called for broadening of mutual cooperation between Tehran and Havana.

"Iran-Cuba relations need to reach their highest level in the political and diplomatic fields," Sheikh Hassani said.

The Iranian ambassador reiterated that Tehran and Havana have always been trying to expand political and economic exchanges over past 37 years.

Sheikh Hassani pointed to Iran's capacities for the expansion of mutual cooperation, and said, "Iran ranks first in the Middle East and seven in the world in nanotechnology."

In relevant remarks in late August, Cuban Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Havana called for the broadening of trade and economic relations between the two countries.

During the meeting in the Cuban capital, Malmierca Diaz said that his country's private sector is ready to invest in Iran's economic projects.

"Havana is keen to develop relations with Tehran as a lasting partner and friend," he added.

Zarif and Malmierca Diaz discussed ways of development of cooperation between Tehran and Havana in the fields of energy, banking, health, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

"Cuba is ready to help facilitate development of cooperation between Islamic Republic and the Latin American states," Malmierca Diaz said.

Also in August, Iran and Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost the level of their economic and trade cooperation.

The cooperation document was signed on the sidelines of the first joint trade meeting of Iran and Cuba.

Iran attaches importance to the expansion of all-out ties with the Latin American countries.

 

 

 

 

<div>India's Politico-Economic Delegation Due in Tehran Next Week</div>

TEHRAN (FNA)- A high-ranking Indian delegation is slated to pay an official visit to Iran in coming days.

India's politico-economic delegation will embark on a two-day official visit to Tehran on May 16.

The Indian delegation is to meet senior Iranian officials to exchange views on the expansion of political and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited India to attend conference named “Heart of Asia".

India is main buyer of Iran's oil and Indian companies play active role in Farzad oil field.

In a relevant development in May 2016, Tehran and New Delhi signed a dozen pacts to boost their cooperation in different fields.

The 12 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed in a ceremony in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tehran.

Modi, heading a high-ranking delegation, visited Iran in late May.

Modi made his first trip to Iran since he took office in 2016. Modi's visit was aimed at deepening energy ties.

During the Indian prime minister's visit, India signed a contract to build and operate the port of Chabahar on the Southern Iranian coast that is aimed at boosting connectivity with Afghanistan and central Asia.

 

 

 

 

Deputy Minister: Iran in Talks with Europeans to Export Gas to Green Continent

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Oil Minister and Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamidreza Araqi announced that the country is negotiating exports of gas to the European countries.

"Exports of Iran's gas to Europe is possible both through LNG and pipeline," Araqi said on Saturday.

"To this end, different European companies have come to Iran and held some negotiations," he added.

Araqi said that the contracts on the supply of gas to Europe will take 5 years to yield results.

In relevant remarks in December, Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam Hossein Shafeyee said that Iran's gas can be exported to Europe via Georgia and the Black Sea in the near future.

"Cooperation between the two countries (Iran and Armenia) is of special importance in energy security and in the near future, Iran's gas can be transferred to Europe via Georgia and Black Sea," he said.

Also, late in April, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh underlined that his ministry is mulling bringing the French energy giant, Total, to develop a key project to liquefy natural gas for exports to Europe.

"Serious talks are underway with Total in this regard," Zangeneh said.

The Iranian oil minister reiterated that Iran's priority for gas exports to Europe was to proceed with LNG.

"Our priority is to export natural gas to the neighboring countries by pipeline and we believe that the best way to export gas to Europe is through LNG,” Zangeneh said.

 

 

 

 

Iran Mercantile Exchange Weekly Trade Exceeds $240mln

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) announced that around $247mln of various commodities weighting over 404,997 tons were traded in its domestic trading and exports halls in the past working week (May 06-11).

The IME said that over 229,567 tons of various oil and petrochemical products, including 87,243 tons of bitumen, 52,765 tons of polymer products, 34,300 tons of VB feed stock, 19,800 tons of lube cut-oil, 23,091 tons of chemical products, 11,400 tons of sulfur, 350 tons of insulation and 21 tons of base oil and slack wax oil with the total value of $119mln were traded in its domestic and exports halls during the last week.

Moreover,  21,870 tons of various commodities, 9,500 of wheat, 11,125 tons of sugar, 900 tons of crude vegetable oil and 354 tons of maize with total worth of $12mln were traded by the customers in the agricultural trading hall of IME in last week.

Also, 151,750 tons of metal and mineral products, including, 145,440 tons of steel products, 5,370 tons of copper, 760 tons of aluminum and 120 tons of molybdenum concentrate, 60 tons of zinc with the total value of $115mln were traded in the IME domestic and exports halls in the last week.

The IME was established on September 20, 2007 in accordance with article 95 of the new la of the Securities Market of the Islamic Republic of Iran and following the merger of the agricultural and metal exchanges of Tehran. The merger marked a new chapter in Iran capital market providing endless trading opportunities for the clients in and out of the country.

Various sectors of economy and national industry benefit from the exchange operation. The IME currently offers various services, including:

Performing as the first market providing access to the initial offering of the listed commodities in the IME,

Price discovery and price making for Iran's Over the Counter (OTC), secondary markets and the end users,

Providing venue for government sales and procurement purchases,

Providing Trading platform and user interface,

Providing Clearing & Settlement services

Risk management,

Technology services,

Training and education of the market participants.

 

 

 

 

Uzbekistan Calls for Broadening of Ties with Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in a message to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Saturday called for the further expansion of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

"Deep historical relations between Uzbekistan and Iran are strong backups for the expansion of bilateral ties," President Mirziyoyev wrote in his message on the occasion of 25th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between Tashkent and Tehran.

The Uzbek president also wished health and success for the Iranian government and people.

In relevant remarks in late April, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Ebrahim Rahimpour underlined his country's preparedness to further develop all-out relations and cooperation with Uzbekistan.

"Iran is ready to develop bilateral ties between Tehran and Tashkent in all fields and is trying to link Uzbekistan to the international waters," Rahimpour said in a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Javlon Vahabov in Tashkent.

He added that the investments made in Iran's Chabahar port will shorten the route used by the Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan, to access the free waters.

Vahabov, for his part, underscored that the Uzbek president attaches much importance to ties with Iran, and added, "He has ordered preparation of the ground for the expansion of bilateral ties with Iran, specially in economic field."

In relevant remarks in February, Iran’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan Bahman Agharazi said that Tehran and Tashkent are increasing cooperation in various economic fields.

Speaking to reporters in Tashkent, Agharazi said the two neighbors cooperate in goods transit and have agreed to extend cooperation to other economic and trade domains.

According to the ambassador, the two sides have also agreed to increase cooperation in passenger transfer and transit at their international airports.

He said Uzbekistan is the only country in Central Asia which is suitable for goods and passenger transfer and transit, and for the same reason talks have been held on ways to link the country to the Persian Gulf via Iran.

Agharazi became Iran’s new ambassador to Uzbekistan last year. Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov received the copies of his credentials at a meeting last year.

During the meeting, the sides discussed the status and priority areas of Uzbek-Iranian cooperation in political, trade, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres.

They reiterated mutual interest in intensifying the ties in the transport and communications sphere.

Further, the sides exchanged views on some issues of the international and regional politics.

 

 

 

 

Ghana Mulling Import of Medicine from Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chana's Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Accra on Saturday voiced his country's willingness to import the needed medicine from Iran.

"A delegation from Iran’s medicine investment corporation is now in Ghana to discuss cooperation between the two countries, specially in medical and export of medicine," Ayorkor Botchway said while referring to the high quality of Iran's medicine.

The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said Tehran is ready to export medicines to Ghana and Western Africa.

During the visit to Ghana, the Iranian medicine delegation had 13 meetings with representatives of different ministries and private companies in Accra.

In relevant remarks in late April, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari and Ghana's outgoing Ambassador Alhaji Bawah Gilbert Ayembillah in Tehran underlined the need for expanding relations between the two countries.

During the meeting in the Iranian capital, the senior Iranian and Ghanaian diplomats explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating mutual cooperation.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister praised the outgoing Ghanaian ambassador's activities during his tenure in Iran, and said, "Expansion of ties with Africa topped Iran's foreign policy agenda After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979."

Jaberi Ansari said that Iran and Ghana enjoy good relations, adding that one of the reasons for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries was the prevalence of stability in Ghana over past two decades.

Ayembillah, for his part, appreciated the Iranian foreign ministry for its sincere cooperation during his tenure, and said, "Over the past 4 years reciprocal visits by both presidents and foreign ministers took place and the fifth round of joint economic commission meeting was held.

He said that after ending his tenure, he will continue his efforts aimed at boosting bilateral ties.

 

 

 

 

Iran’s annual saffron exports up 60% yr/yr

TEHRAN- Iran’s weight of saffron exports during the last Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017) rose 60 percent compared to that of the previous year, according to Gholamreza Miri, the vice chairman of National Iranian Saffron Council.

The official put the weight of the country’s exported saffron at 176 tons in last year while the figure stood at 113 tons in its previous year.
The country exported $253 million worth of saffron during the mentioned time, Mehr news reported on Sunday quoting Miri as saying.

EF/MA

Intl. railway expo to kick off in Tehran

TEHRAN - The 5th International Exhibition of Rail Transportation, Related Industries and Equipment of Iran (RAILEXPO 2017) will open today at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds.

The exhibition will be hosting about 300 domestic and foreign companies from different countries, IRNA quoted Babak Ahmadi, the deputy director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways as saying on Saturday.

“130 foreign companies and over 160 Iranian exhibitors will participate in this year’s event,” Ahmadi said. 

According to the official, exhibitors from Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, France, India, Ukraine, Turkey, New Zealand, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic, China, Germany and Serbia are going to showcase their latest achievements and products during the four-day event.

Ahmadi further noted that a €250-million deal is also going to be signed with Russia for manufacturing 6000 freight wagons, of which 4900 wagons will be manufactured inside the country and the rest will be built in Russia. “The project is estimated to take three years to complete,” he added.

The 5th International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering is also going to be held on the sidelines of the exhibition.


EF/MA
 

Beik Alizadeh appointed Iran’s new OPEC envoy

TEHRAN- Behrouz Beik Alizadeh was appointed as Iran’s new representative at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Shana reported on Sunday.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh appointed Beik Alizadeh to the post, replacing Mehdi Asali, who retired last June when Beik Alizadeh was appointed as the acting representative of Iran in OPEC.

MA/MG
 

Car production up 20% in a month

TEHRAN- Iranian carmakers manufactured 68,074 vehicles in the first month of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-April 22) with 20 percent rise compared to the same month in the previous year, IRIB reported on Sunday.

Iran manufactured 1.3 million of cars in the past calendar year (ended on March 20, 2017) and targets to push the figure up to 1.5 million cars by the end of this year, Mehr news agency reported on April 7, quoting Deputy Industry Minister Mansour Moazzami.

Producing more than one million of automobiles in 2016, Iran could rank first among the world countries regarding the growth in its car production, according to the report released by Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, commonly abbreviated OICA, (translated in English as the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers) in early March 2017.

Iran managed to manufacture 1,164,710 automobiles in the said time, registering an 18.6 percent increase in number compared to the previous year, the report said. The growth percentage puts the country at the top of car manufacturers in 2016.

From the said 1,164,710 manufactured automobiles in Iran, 1,074,000 ones belong to the cars and 90,710 ones goes to the commercial vehicles.

MA/MG

Rouhani’s economic legacy

The presidential election is scheduled for Friday in Iran. If the incumbent president Hassan Rouhani loses the bid for re-election, the next president will take office in less than three months. In that case, what economic achievements will the next president inherit from Rouhani?

To get a better view of what Rouhani did in his tenure, it is worth remembering that when he took office in August 2013, Iran was experiencing unstable economic situation. Unemployment rate was high, inflation was rampant, and stagnation was deep. During the past almost four years, Rouhani and his cabinet worked hard to awaken Iran’s dormant economy wounded by improper policies under president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad via adopting various political and economic measures, both domestically and internationally. 

Today, the results of applying such strategies account for major accomplishments by the Rouhani administration. 

The key politico-economic achievement of Rouhani was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the official name for the nuclear deal.It was signed between Iran and world powers in July 2015 and was implemented in January 2016.  Based on the deal, nuclear-related sanctions on various Iranian business sectors were lifted. JCPOA, in fact, triggered a chain of positive outcomes for Iran’s economy.

Under the aegis of sanctions removal, $22 billion of Central Bank of Iran’s frozen assets has been freed, the country has been reconnected to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), and temporarily removed from the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) black list, and could resume ties with the global banking and financial network as well as giant international insurance companies. 

As a result of proper measures taken by the government and also the positive environment created in the post-sanctions era, Iran has been inundated with visiting foreign trade delegations from countries across the globe. Foreigners have shown interest in making investments in the country and sharing their technologic know-how in various industrial fields. Consequently, the Rouhani administration succeeded in signing various agreements to attract foreign investments for implementing infrastructure projects to revamp road, rail, and air transport systems. Some $12 billion of foreign investments was absorbed in the past Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-17). According to a report released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in late March, the value of foreign investment in Iran stood at $3.1 billion in 2013. Iran has reportedly signed memorandums of understanding aiming to attract $50 billion of finance from foreign investors after the JCPOA went into effect in January 2016.

The administration also succeeded in increasing Iran’s revenues via boosting oil and gas outputs and growing gas condensate exports. Iran’s oil exports have doubled since the deal took effect and major problems in the way of securing insurance for cargoes carrying oil from Iran have been resolved.

Under Rouhani, Iran experienced positive balance of trade in Iranian calendar year 1394 (March 2015-16). It was the country’s first-ever positive trade balance as of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Registering an increase of 4.34 percent, Iran preserved its trade balance on positive trajectory for the second consecutive year in 1395. The country's value of non-oil exports was reported to be $43.93 billion, compared with the figure for imports which stood at $43.68 billion.

In domestic economy, reining in the galloping inflation is among the main achievements of President Rouhani. Inflation, which skyrocketed to above 40 percent at the end of Ahmadinejad’s second term, dropped to a single-digit for the first time in three decades and hit 9 percent in the past Iranian calendar year 1395. 
Economic growth rate soared from minus 5.8 percent in 2013 to 7.2 percent during the first nine months of the past Iranian year, according to the Statistical Center of Iran. 

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook report, titled “Gaining Momentum”, has predicted a 3.3-percent real GDP growth for the country in 2017. As President Rouhani underlined in mid-March, his administration has been shoring up economic growth “without too much help from oil revenues”.

Besides, smuggling has had a downtrend and Iran’s customs revenues increased despite a drop in imports and tariffs. The total value of smuggled goods in calendar years 1392, 1393, and 1394 stood at $25 billion, $19.8 billion and $15 billion respectively. In 1395, the figure shrank to around $12 billion, indicating a substantial decrease of 50 percent compared to the year Rouhani came to power, according to IRNA. The average import tariff rate has also declined from 27 percent to 19.2 percent. Nonetheless, the customs administration earned 180 trillion rials ($4.7 billion) in revenues last year, thanks to the implementation of an integrated customs system. 

While President Rouhani expresses that he has sought to return tranquility to the Iranian economy mainly via improving the business climate and reopening international gateways, his critics turn the coin to its other side. 

Critics of Rouhani’s economic policies believe that despite his promises, economy is still not in good shape. They says Rouhani has failed to improve living standards, emphasizing that the JCPOA did not work as it was expected to. They lash out at Rouhani for failing to curb unemployment rate, saying the figure went through an upwards trend in his tenure. 

According to SCI figures, unemployment rate has increased from about 10.5 percent to above 12 percent in his tenure. 

Critics also refer to liquidity volume, which stood at 11.96 quadrillion rials (about $317.7 billion) during the 12-month period ended in the last day of the 10th Iranian calendar month of Dey (January 19, 2017), according to a CBI report. The figure shows 26 percent rise compared to the same period of time in the previous year, the report said.

Criticizers also claim that recession has been fostered in economy due to adopting improper monetary and financial policies and restricting business regulations. They also believe that smuggling of goods has gone through an upward trend and is now among the main challenges of domestic producers. 

In general, opponents argue the Rouhani administration’s economic policies led to closure of a number of production units and a consequent unemployment of a large number of workers.

In fact, Rouhani’s mission is not accomplished yet. There is a long way for economy to go. Some of his measures need to bear fruit in the long-run. Also, sanctions have not yet been fully lifted.

In case the next administration does not follow similar economic and foreign policy, all Rouhani’s efforts will for sure be in vain and economy would bounce back. 

HJ/MG/PA

Iran-S. Africa trade planned to hit $2b by 2021

TEHRAN- Iran and South Africa have planned to boost the volume of their bilateral trade up to $2 billion by 2021, an official in Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Shahram Khasipoor announced on Sunday, IRNA reported.

Making the remarks addressing Iran-South Africa Business Forum at the place of ICCIMA, Khasipoor noted that regarding the existing political and cultural ties between the two countries, the volume of common trade is not at a satisfactory level and should be increased.

Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa Rob Haydn Davies had previously said that exchanging trade delegations with Iran will improve mutual all-out ties.

The minister mentioned recognition of industrial, trade, and investment opportunities in Iran to sell his country’s products and services as the objective of dispatching this trade delegation to the Islamic Republic.

Iran-South Africa trade volume decreased to $45.7 million in 2016 from the previous $2.055 billion in 2011, due to the Western-led sanctions imposed on Iran.

HJ/MA

UEC says seeking to localize products in Iran 

TEHRAN - A United Engine Corporation (UEC) official says a localization of its products in Iran is one of its purposes.

Alexander Karaoglanov, who headed the delegation to the Iran Oil Show 2017, also said competition in the Iranian oil industry is becoming harder.

“The competition will become even harder,” Karaoglanov, the sales director tells the Tehran Times.

UEC unites all the main Russian companies specializing in design and serial production of gas turbine engines of different applications. One of its priorities of the company is introduction of new technologies according to international standards. 

“Bringing in the Russian export financing is possible in the future equipment delivery and localization projects.” Karaoglanov, who leads the company’s Sales Department Division specialized in “energy and industry programs”, also says UEC considers Iran with its booming oil and gas industry as one of the most “promising future partners”.

Following is the text of the interview with Karaoglanov: 

Question: How do you evaluate the current Iran Oil Show? 

Answer: This is a high-status exhibition which fully corresponds to the UEC's industrial profile. We have been participating in the Iran Oil Show already for 7 years. Certainly, we regard our presence on the Iranian market in general and our participation in this show as very promising.

Q: What is your plan for activity in Iran? Is it about making investment, transfer of technology or any other kind of cooperation?

A: There are three major fields of cooperation with Iran. Firstly, the localization of the production in Iran of the 16 MW gas compressor sets developed by UEC. Secondly, - the energy projects encompassing the construction of the gas turbine power-generating plants for the distributed power generation. Third direction is the construction of the combined-cycle generating plants.  

“The gas transport system of Iran is one of the biggest in the region. Russia also has a huge gas transport network. That is why we fully understand the needs of our Iranian counterparts.”Bringing in the Russian export financing is possible in the future equipment delivery and localization projects. 

Q: In general, what do you think are the upside and what are the downside of activity in the Iranian market?

A: The gas transport system of Iran is one of the biggest in the region. Russia also has a huge gas transport network. That is why we fully understand the needs of our Iranian counterparts. UEC considers Iran with its booming oil & gas industry as one of the most promising future partners in the field of gas compressor and energy equipment. Our gas compressor equipment in its full power range (10 – 25 MW) - as well as the gas turbine units for the underground gas storage facilities – can be used with efficiency in the Iranian gas transport system. 

In Iran we are facing competition from the part of the other producers, which have been on this market for a long time. Our major competitive advantage is the comparatively low cost of the life cycle of our products and the technical innovations that are being used in our modern equipment. 

Q: How do you see the future of Iranian energy market now that the sanctions are lifted against the country?

A: The competition will become even harder, for example, with the European and US companies. But we are ready for this, we are aware of the strong points of our products

Q: How do you see the future of fossil fuels in view of renewable energy resources and the issue of climate change?

A: Anyway the renewable energy will continue to develop, but this doesn’t mean that gas and oil are not needed any more at some point of time. The production of oil and gas will continue along with the developments in the field of the renewable energy. 


 

    
    
    
    

Iran in talks with Europe on gas export

TEHRAN – National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC)’s Managing Director Hamidreza Araqi said Iran is in talks with European countries to export gas to Europe, ISNA reported on Saturday.

The official noted that sending Iranian gas to Europe is possible both through pipeline and in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“Various European companies expressed willingness in this regard but reaching a final deal generally takes near five years,” he added.

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More cities to be connected to national railway network

TEHRAN – Capital cities of five more provinces will be connected to the country’s national railway network in the current Iranian calendar year (March 2017- March 2018), IRNA reported quoting a railway official.

According to Saeid Mohammadzadeh, the managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR), Hamedan, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Orumieh and Rasht are the cities to be connected to the national railway network.
“More than 800 kilometers of railway will also be added to the rail network across the county,” he added.

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Tehran to host 1st Iran-Latin America mining co-op meeting on Monday

TEHRAN – The first Iran-Latin American countries joint meeting on cooperation opportunities in mining sector is due to be held in Tehran on Monday, IRNA reported.

As Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) said on Saturday, the meeting will focus on topics like the capacities and potentials for mutual investment, effective and long-term communication with each other’s mining and mineral industry through economic diplomacy and familiarity with cooperation opportunities and etc.

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