Iran government approves plan to set up separate ministry for trade

Iran government approves plan to set up separate ministry for trade

The Iranian government has approved a plan to set up a separate ministry for foreign trade amid efforts to facilitate exports and imports and to help better regulate prices of consumer goods.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said on Sunday that the Cabinet had agreed to the establishment of the trade ministry in its meeting earlier in the day.

Bahadori said in a Twitter post that the government’s main objectives of setting up a trade ministry include having “a more effective control on prices, facilitating and boosting foreign trade and providing stronger support to consumers”.

Iran had a separate ministry for trade for 37 years until 2011 when the government merged it with the ministry of industries and mines. A former administrative government’s push around three years ago to restore the trade ministry faced opposition from the parliament.

Political analysts say a renewed attempt to restore the ministry is likely to face less problems this time as the current parliament is generally supportive of the administrative government led by President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran posted an annual trade figure of more than $100 billion for the calendar year to late March with exports from the country reaching over $48 billion.

That comes as a series of American sanctions targeting Iran’s exports of crude oil since 2018 has led to increased activity in the non-oil sector of the economy, especially in the exports of agriculture goods and manufacturing products.