What does Iran private sector want from government?

Tehran, Iran, July 25

Trend:

What the Iran's Chamber of Commerce is looking for is a single exchange rate, which has been discussed during the latest meeting of Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Investment and Capital Committee of Iran Chamber of Commerce said.

Referring to the latest Chamber of Commerce meeting, Abbas Argon told Trend that all members of the Chamber of Commerce agreed on elimination of the official foreign exchange rate (42,000 rial per dollar)and emphasized that prices in the country should be real.

Answering the question of whether these changes will affect vulnerable groups of the population, he noted: "Of course, if these steps are taken, the price of the goods will rise, so the low-income households shall be protected from the prices increase."

“Elimination of the foreign currency's official rate was demanded by the private sector," he added.

Speaking about the Central Bank of Iran's policy towards the currency market, he noted the policy led to a decline in exchange rates in recent weeks. Argon went on to say that the foreign currency rates have stabilized in the foreign exchange market. “The growth of the exchange rate should be stopped and the downward trend in prices in the market should be kept by CBI,” he added.

In his words, the problems in the production and export sectors are rooted in the currency fluctuation. “The exchange rate fluctuation is very harmful to productive economic activities and deprives the producers of the opportunity to plan their operations.”

He said that the government's goal should be unification of the exchange rate alongside gradual reducing the exchange rate and price fluctuation. “Iran’s government was left with no choice but to unify the official and open market currency exchange rates. The continuation of this process will ultimately benefit the economy of the country,” he added.

Currently, Iran has three exchange rates including the open market rate, the official rate and NIMA rate.

The open (black) market rate most accurately reflects how many rials it takes to buy one US dollar. The most accessible and commonly quoted rate throughout the country, the open market rate more than tripled in the past year and a half.

The official exchange rate, which is subsidized by the government and used for the import of some essential products, stands at 42,000 rials for one dollar.

NIMA is the Persian acronym for an online currency system launched by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran in April 2018. It is a system intended for the sale of a certain percentage of the foreign currency gained from export.

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