According to ISNA, surveys show that after Islamic Revolution, the share of the non-oil export was low in the country, whereas considering the existing talents and potentials in the country, especially East Azerbaijan province, it is possible to achieve high economic growth by increasing the level of exports. On the other hand, being presence and competing in the international markets are subject to the domestic non-oil exports because the world demands are for non-oil products.
The reversed trend of increased exports and reduced imports
The study on the exports without taking gas condensates into account in the first quarter of the Iranian year of 1396 shows that the export growth was negative in most months of last year, but this trend has been reversed since the beginning of this year, and the balance has gradually been changed in favor of exports so that based on the customs statistics of the East Azerbaijan province, the export volume of the first quarter of this year was over 178710 tons amounting 4860 billion Rials which increased 28 percent in terms of value and 30 percent in terms of weight in comparison with the same period last year.
The negative growth in the quarterly import value
The survey of imports excluding the gas condensates shows that the East Azerbaijan imports was lower than the imports last year in the first quarter so that the imports has increased 6% in terms of weight but decreased 9% in terms of value . The import volume of the first quarter of this year was over 126606 tons amounting 774 billion Rials.
Considering the weight growth exceeded the value growth of the exports in the first quarter of this year, the average price of exported goods shows an increase compared to the same period last year.
The rise of exports to Iraq along with the exports to 81 other countries
The East Azerbaijan goods during the first quarter this year has been exported to over 81 countries including Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Armenia, the Azerbaijan Republic, Russia, Italy, Bulgaria, and Pakistan.
The major group of exported goods include plastic materials, plastic products; edible fruit, citrons; machinery and mechanical appliances; sugar beet, sugar cane, confectionery; mineral fuels; mineral oils and their derived distilled products; cereal products, flour, chopped starch; milk; a variety of sweet bread; glass and glassware; iron, cast iron, and steel products; cocoa, fruit and vegetables.
The main imported goods include machinery and mechanical appliances; wood and wooden objects; charcoal, tobacco; paper and electrical machinery and appliances; cast iron and steel products; various processed food products and ground vehicle.
The goods have been imported to East Azerbaijan customs from 51 countries in the first quarter of this year including Turkey, Germany, China, the UAE, Sweden, Italy, Netherland, South Korea, Georgia and Japan.
In an interview with ISNA on the most important problems of the provincial exports, the deputy chairman of Tabriz Chamber of Commerce Industry and Mine Commission stated, "The lack of an international intelligence center among the decision makers of public and private sectors, the lack of prospects for the development of the East Azerbaijan province in the industrial, mining and commercial sectors, the lack of uniform progress of industrial units, and the existence of political barriers which lead to banking and customs problems for exporters are among the export dilemmas."
Stating that the lack of knowledge of export requirements is another dilemma of export in East Azerbaijan, Hassan Sedighi added, "The exports of household appliances requires the establishment of the network of after sales service in the target market, and the establishment of a sales network entails a large amount of production of economies of scale."
Stating that many changes are nt expected in the prospect of East Azerbaijan's exports, he added, "At present, commodities are considered the most important economic core in Islamic Republic of Iran, and IT or engineering services which needs a significant investment are not of much importance for executive power."
Stating that the province exports face two major problems, Sedighi said, "The selective policies and macroeconomic strategy and programs, on the other hand, are among the barriers East Azerbaijan encounters, I am afraid there is no clear horizon for the development of non-oil exports in these two areas."
The vice president of the Association of Exporters of Technical and Engineering Services in East Azerbaijan pointed to the necessity of non oil exports and stressed, "Unless the non oil exports do not take place in the country and do not exceed the oil exports, we will have to sell crude petroleum so that the country will sell its black gold at one tenth or on 20th of its real price."
He continued, "Non oil products will result in the improved business environment, the elimination of information and economic rents, the emergence and formation of private sector as well as the formation of the knowledge-based economy so that on percent of the country GDP will be invested in research.
The necessity of exporting the most downstream oil and gas products for economic justification
Stating that the export of crude oil is not economically justifiable, Sedighi said, "If we are looking for economic justification, it is necessary to export the most downstream oil and gas products as well as the oil and gas technology."
An increase of 15% in exports in 2016
In an interview with ISNA, Assistant Coordinator of East Azerbaijan Economic Affairs and Development of Resources, stating that the province's exports are positive, said, "Comparing the statistics for the years 2015 and 2016, we find that the province's exports had a 15% increase in 2016 and in the first quarter of this year, we see a significant increase over the same period last year." Referring the problems and barriers which East Azerbaijan is facing, Ali Navadad explained, "The complicated administrative bureaucracy is one of the major dilemmas of the province exports so that some industrial and manufacturing units do not function properly. The industrial manufacturers should pay special attention to the improvement of the manufactured products and the increase in their exports."
He added, "Fortunately, at present we can make the most of the hidden capacities in East Azerbaijan; for example the largest share of the province's exports are n Iraq which is a great opportunity, and we hope the manufacturing units will take advantage of this opportunity most in order to be able both to strengthen the administrative system and not to face any problems with attractive investors."
On the government's measures to increase exports, the Assistant Coordinator of East Azerbaijan Economic Affairs and Development of Resources said, "The task of the government is to pave the way, provide infrastructures, and eliminate the unnecessary barriers. Therefore, the increase in exports is the backbone of production; hence, the owners of industries should be able to use the capacities optimally to experience higher exporting figures."