Head of Iran’s Export Confederation Mohammad Lahooti believes the country is able to recoup the current halt in exports to Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia easily.
Speaking to ILNA, Lahooti said that in the early 2010s, the amount of Iran’s technical and engineering services exports was some $4b but today the exports of technical and engineering services are valued at around $500m and, he blamed the bureaucracy for this decline, adding that in the past, guarantee letters were easily issued and also export incentives were given and it made the companies compete but today due to the bureaucratic hurdles, the exports in this sector have fallen.
On the impact of Joe Biden’s election as the U.S. President and return of the U.S. to the JCPOA, he said Biden has promised during his election campaign and now all should wait and see how much he would be committed to his vows.
“Iran has actually been in the JCPOA and because of Donald Trump’s pullout of the JCPOA; Iran could not take advantage of the deal’s obligations like lifting sanctions to help its economy.”
He noted that if Biden lifts the sanctions, it will definitely help Iran’s foreign trade, and the path will open for foreign investment in the country. But he admitted that one cannot be hopeful about the Americans’ vows.
Lahooti noted that attracting foreign investment is not just attracting financial resources and what is important to the country is the transfer of technical knowledge and joint investment, and ultimately export-centered production.
“Investment for domestic consumption with any quality and at any condition should not be taken into consideration.”
Touching upon exports of technical and engineering services to Karabakh, he said Iran is an influential country in the field of technical and engineering services as the country enjoys having some capable and famous companies in this field.
He noted that there are very good capacities in the country which can be used not only in Karabakh but also, above all, in Syria and Iraq.
He further said that issuing appropriate guarantee letters in accordance with the volume of contracts, creating banking relations, and supporting exporters in the field of technical and engineering services with giving incentives can awaken this dormant capacity and earn the country a huge amount of forex.
Lahooti admitted that this issue has been neglected in the past 7 or 8 years. He reiterated that since Karabakh has good relations with Iran, it can be one of the opportunities for Iranians to export their technical and engineering services there and to take advantage of this market.
He acknowledged that exports to Azerbaijan and Armenia came to a halt for a short time but a restoration of peace in the region can compensate for this halt, adding that recent war has made the condition appropriate for Iran to increase export of construction materials, technical and engineering services to this region.