Chinese firm to invest in Iran’s Saqqez tobacco company

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.21/ Trend F.Milad/

China's GTI Company plans to invest some one trillion rials (some $81.5 million) in the Saqqez tobacco company, the managing director of Kurdistan Tobacco Complex said on Wednesday.

The Saqqez tobacco factory will come on stream by March 2014, the IRIB News Agency quoted Mohammad Ayini as saying.

Member of Iran's commission on combating respiratory diseases Aboulfazl Jaryani said in 2011 that Iran holds 0.5 per cent of the global tobacco market. However it ranks second in terms of cigarette smuggling, Mehr News Agency reported.

"Iran and Burma have the highest rate of cigarette smuggling in the world," he said.

Iran's annually cigarette consumption is 60 billion cigarettes, while 42 per cent of Iran's cigarette consumption is provided for by smuggled goods.

He stressed that despite Iran's commitment to international regulations we witnessed a reduced tax for imported cigarettes from 40 to 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, the assigned tax rate for domestic cigarette factories' products reduced from 20 to 0.5 per cent in 2011.

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