Iran loses US carpet market

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 1

By Elnur Baghishov – Trend:

Exports of Iranian hand-woven carpets to the US market made up about a quarter of its total exports, however, Iran ended up losing this market due to sanctions, Razi Haji Aghamiri, head of the Export Committee of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture, told ILNA, Trend reports.

According to Aghamiri, when the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it unofficially gave several months’ time to foreign companies with a presence in Iran to pull out of the country by the time it would announce the sanctions.

During that time, businessmen who were aware of what was to come – both foreign and Iranian businessmen alike – bought more than what was produced in the carpet market according to the production plan, thus leading to a temporary surge in production and export levels, Aghamiri stated.

"Because they knew that, with the imposition of sanctions, no carpet would be sent from Iran to the US for a certain amount of time. That's why Iran's carpet exports suddenly increased," he said.

Aghamiri went on to say that the sanctions have not yet affected the Iranian carpet industry, and their impact will surface in the coming months.

Commenting on the export of carpets to other countries, Aghamiri noted that banking and money transfers are the main problems. These have led to a decrease in Iran's exports to European countries.

"Another thing is that, according to global opinion, very few companies in the world are interested in working with Iran," he said.

Aghamiri said that although the US had given several months’ time, many countries stopped purchasing oil from Iran. Also, despite discussions being initiated in other industries and the inflow of investments at the time, they were all halted with the decision of US President Donald Trump on the US’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Generally speaking, this year (started March 21, 2019) will be difficult for the Iranian economy," he said.

In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the JCPA, and imposed sanctions on Iran in November 2018.

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