Turkey-Iran trade may be harmed by Tehran's ban on certain imports

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 22.01.2019 00:17

Iran's decision to ban the import of foreign products that are already produced in the country could bring exports to Iran to a halt, according to the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD) Tehran representative Fatih Çayabatmaz.

Textiles, white appliances, food, health supplies and cosmetic products are the main goods Turkey exports to Iran.

"The Iranian parliament's decision to ban the import of similar goods that are produced in the country to the extent of just meet the needs of the domestic market could harm trade relations between Iran and Turkey," Çayabatmaz said.

According to Çayabatmaz, some time ago, Iran banned the advertisement of foreign products, similar to the products already produced in the country, on all kinds of printed and visual advertising platforms such as televisions, radios, newspapers and billboards.

"With this decision, the Iranian parliament tries to completely block imports," he added. At Sunday's regular session, the Iranian parliament approved the bill, which prohibited the import of goods that are produced within the country and can satisfy the domestic market's need, by 164 affirmative votes against 12 negative votes until March 21, 2021.

Underlining that consumer goods constitute a major part of Turkey's exports to Iran, Çayabatmaz further said,

"Textiles, white appliances, food, health care products and cosmetics are the most sold products to Iran. Similar products are produced in Iran. With the decision by the Iranian parliament, our exports to this country could come to a halt."

In 2017, Iran's trade with Turkey reached $10.75 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Turkey's exports in the said year totaled around $3.26 billion, while imports reached $7.49 billion.

The trade between the two countries stood at $6.04 billion in the January-July period of 2018 with exports totaling $1.5 billion and imports standing at around $4.54 billion.

He indicated that this decision should not affect the Preferential Trade Agreement that entered into force between Turkey and Iran in 2015, saying that the two countries made a discount on the tariff of some 200 products as a result of 10-year negotiations.

According to Çayabatmaz, Iran had previously banned the import of 1,339 products, with 61 of them being under the scope of the Preferential Trade Agreement.

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