Week in Brief 15.06.2018

After the fall in the value of the Iranian rial, IRR, in April 2018, the Government unified the currency exchange rate of the dollar, hoping to control the currency market. Importers were asked to place their orders via the NIMA platform, an online platform for exchanging money in order to receive their currency remittance. The project was generally met with support from industries which were previously forced to purchase their required currency at a higher exchange rate.

However, the challenge does not end by organizing the currency required for imports. The Government has now asked exporters to sell their dollars via the NIMA platform at an exchange rate of 42000 IRR per USD. This request has met with opposition from many exporters.

The Iran Trade Promotion Organization says a new solution has been found for the private sector. It has announced that exporters, rather than selling their foreign currency via NIMA, can sell their export declarations to importers seeking to buy foreign currencies. Since there is no set price for declarations and prices are negotiable, exporters are keener on this plan because they can agree on the exchange rate higher than the fixed one. Moreover, since no money will physically change hands, controlling money laundering and trafficking of goods is easier.

Following this plan, an exporter, rather than returning foreign currency into the country, would sell their declaration to an importer seeking to buy currency for importation. Mojtaba Khosrotaj, Head of the Iran Trade Promotion Organization has emphasized that this solution is only available to exporters and importers in the private sector and Government companies and the petrochemical plants must sell their currency via the NIMA platform.