Non-oil exports are the important factor in Iran's domestic production and for a revival in its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic that is wreaking economic havoc globally, according to Iranian News Agency (IRNA) on Wednesday.
Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday on reviewing ways to boost economic relations with neighboring countries and support non-oil exporters, vice president Eshaq Jahangiri said: "We have no choice but to expand exports if we are looking for a surge in production."
"The Foreign Affairs Ministry should provide the necessary bases for the development of [non-oil] exports by expanding and strengthening economic diplomacy," he said.
Jahangiri argued that the domestic market is limited, and urged for the expansion of economic relations with countries in the region, as a surge in local production would depend on the capacity to supply domestic products on international markets.
Tensions have escalated between the US and Iran since May 2018, when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear pact that world powers struck with Tehran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.
Trump has since embarked on a campaign to scuttle the agreement, including the re-imposition of sanctions on Iranian crude oil that were lifted as part of the agreement.
- Preventive measures ensure supply of $2.5 billion through central bank and non-oil exporters
Meanwhile, in an Instagram post, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati said despite problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preventive measures taken by neighboring countries along with the closure of border terminals and money exchanges over the last 50 days have ensured that over $2.5 billion has been supplied through the central bank and non-oil exporters, according to the state news agency, IRNA.
He added that the gradual revival of non-oil and oil exports would lead to the normalization of non-oil exports and the supply of currency.
Due to COVID-19, global oil demand continues to remain weak, putting downward pressure on crude prices.
The price of international benchmark Brent crude averaged $63 per barrel in the first quarter of 2019, but averaged $50 a barrel in the same period of 2020, showing a 20.6% decline.
By Sibel Morrow