Ahmadinejad: Iran's non-oil exports slightly up

Photo: Ahmadinejad: Iran's non-oil exports slightly up / Iran

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.24/ Trend F.Milad‎‏/

Iran's non-oil exports slightly increased this year despite Western sanctions against the country, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday.

It is while based on the reports released by international energy organizations, Iran's oil exports were nearly halved in 2012 because of the sanctions. The International Energy Agency has predicted that the fall in the country's oil exports will continue.

However, the IEA, the West's energy agency, estimated in its monthly report on Feb.13 that Iran lost over $40 billion in export revenues in 2012 or about $3.4 billion per month because sanctions.

The proposed budget for the next Iranian calendar year will greatly reduce the country's reliance on oil revenues, Ahmadinejad said.

He went on to note that the next solar year's budget is ready to be sent to the Parliament in the next few days.

Iran's solar year will start on March 20.

The president also blamed the fluctuations in oil revenues and foreign currency rates for the delay in submitting the budget.

The rial plunged by about a third against the U.S. dollar in the past year.

The government maintains an official reference rate of 12,260 rials to the dollar, but only a limited amount of foreign exchange is available at this rate.

US dollar was sold at the price of 36,800 rials at the free market today. It is while USD was around 21,000 rilas at the free market back in February 2012.

Ahmadinejad said that his government will seek to compensate the drop in oil revenues by cutting spending and increasing taxes during the next year.

Annual tax revenues in Iran can be increased just to the ceiling of 50 trillion rials (about $4 billion) in the next calendar year, which begins on March 21, Iranian MP Iraj Nadimi said, the Fars News Agency reported reported on Feb.18.

On February 5, IRIB quoted State Tax Affairs Organization's director Ali Askari as saying that Iran has earned 240.13 trillion rials (about $19.5 billion) tax revenues during the first ten months of the current Iranian calendar year.

Ahmadinejad also promised to fulfill his economic pledges, including the reduction of inflation during this remaining months in office.

Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Kioumars Fathollah Kermanshahi said on February 23 that Iran's non-oil exports will reach 59 billion dollars in the next Iranian calendar year, which begins March 20.

Iran needs to boost its non-oil exports in order to supply its needed foreign currencies for importing goods, the INA News Agency quoted Kermanshahi as saying.

According to the released reports by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil and oil products exports accounted for 79.8 per cent of Iran's total exports in 2011.

Iran exported over 114 billion dollars worth of crude oil and oil products in 2011.

Iran's overall trade value surpassed 86 billion dollars in the first 11 months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began March 20, 2012.

Iran exported 70.82 million tons of non-oil goods (including gas condensates) worth over 37.69 billion dollars in the mentioned period, the ISNA News Agency reported.

Petrochemicals accounted for 8.495 billion dollars of the mentioned amount.

Iran with 5.96 billion dollars, China with 4.82 billion dollars, the United Arab Emirates with 3.91 billion dollars, Afghanistan with 2.5 billion dollars, and India with 2.6 billion dollars were the main destination markets for Iranian goods in the 11-month period.

Iranian Chamber of Commerce official Asadollah Asgaroladi said last week that the country's non-oil exports will surpass $50 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20).

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