The Ministry of Industry and Trade will relax regulations for export to Iraq and Afghanistan, the two main destinations for Iranian goods.
Following the rising exchange rate over the last months, the government has set tight regulations for Iranian exporters to return their foreign currencies within three months after exporting their goods. These new regulations have caused serious difficulties for many exporters who find this period too short to return the money back.
In a visit to Kermanshah, a boarder city with Iraq, the Minister of Industry, Mining and Trades, Mohammad Shariatmadari, has promised to pursue new regulations to ease exports to Iraq and Afghanistan. One proposal is to use the Iranian rial in all trades with the two countries.
“Based on new regulations, all contracts between Iran and the two countries will be carried out with the Iranian rial and exporters are free to import the currencies of these countries”, said Mr Shariatmadari.
Iranian exporters to Iraq and Afghanistan have often stated that since in most trades with these countries, the Iranian rial is used, they should not be asked to return their currency.
Based on figures from the past 6 months, Iraq is the second and Afghanistan the fourth largest importer of Iranian goods. Over this period exports to Iraq have grown in value by 44% and exports to Afghanistan have grown by nearly 31%.
While prior to the new currency regulations, traders were free to use any currency in their trades, recently they have been struggling to comply with the governmental requirements on returning their currencies.
In a meeting with the Minister of Industry and Trade, Iranian exporters noted the considerable fall in the number of trucks passing the boarders and carrying goods.
“Currently, only 30 trucks cross into Iraq at some border crossing whereas this number used to be over 500”, said Keivan Kashefi, the President of Kermanshah Chamber of Commerce. “If the new currency regulations for exporters are not to be lifted soon, we will lose the Iraqi market for which we have invested lots of efforts to conquer”.
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