Soon, officials from the Ministry of Security will negotiate a free trade agreement with Pakistan. But here is the question, the negotiations that Iran has conducted so far for free trade with Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Eurasia; What stage is it at? And the most important question is whether Iranian producers and traders have the ability to compete in today's free world?
According to Eco Iran, according to trade experts, in recent years, due to production pressures, the ability of producers to compete in the same environment as other producers in the world has declined. Engineer Valiullah Afkhami Rad, CEO of Kerman Civil Engineering Organization and former head of Trade Development Organization, is one of the people who confirms this problem. He asked whether “the government can carry out the planned programs in the field of trade or not? He tells "Eco Iran" that the production capacity is so low that if we sign the FATF tomorrow and the sanctions are lifted, we will not be able to export. Our producers have not been able to increase their production by one level due to the lack of investment in the last decade. On the other hand, we have an inner need that we cannot ignore.
Referring to published statistics in the field of investment, he points out: Over the past decade, investment in the country has turned negative. This means that this investment did not cover depreciation.
Afkhamirad adds: If we haven't invested in 10 years, we haven't brought in new machines, we haven't bought new technologies, we can't supply goods suitable for global markets. Today we produce the goods we can; That's all we see.
The dream of free trade
What is the current status of Iran's free trade agreements with its target countries? According to official data, after the signing of the preferential trade agreement between Iran and Turkey in 2013, steps were taken to achieve free trade. However, the terms of the free trade agreement with Turkey are still unclear to the parties and have not been finalized.
On the other hand, free trade negotiations with Eurasia have been finalized according to officials of the Development Organization. Of course, a knowledgeable source told "Eco Iran" that the Eurasian side objected to the terms of the agreement, and for this reason, these agreements have remained silent for now. A question to which government officials have not reacted.
Regarding the free trade between Iran and Syria, the authorities of both countries continue to follow, and based on the agreement of the leaders of the two countries, the tariff of the goods included in this agreement has been reduced from 4 to zero percent. But this issue has not yet been finalized.
The status of free trade between Iran and Iraq is unclear. Because the Iraqi side, unlike the Iranian authorities, does not want to sign this agreement.
In this context, according to Hadi Talebian Moghadam, Director General of the Organization for the Development of Trade in South Asia, the government is considering free trade negotiations with Pakistan. Of course, it was on 10 Mehr 1401 that the Council of Ministers authorized the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade to temporarily negotiate, initial and sign the Iran-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement in order to develop the trade relations between Iran and Pakistan and make Pakistan an important export market for Iran.