An official from Iran’s ministry of commerce said on Sunday that the total exports of garment and textile products in the last Iranian calendar year ending in March had totaled $1.1 billion.
Afsaneh Mehrabi said Iranian products were mostly exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan, Presstv Reported.
She said increasing exports came amid tightened government controls on imports of products with sufficient manufacturing capacity inside Iran, including some clothing items, bedding accessories and floor covering.
Mehrabi told the official IRNA agency that Iran was seeking an overhaul in the textile and garment sector which accommodates around 8,000 production units across Iran with an employment capacity of 260,000 people.
She said a main element of government plans for supporting the industry was to devise mechanisms that could prevent smuggling of apparel and textile items into the country.
Iran has a rich tradition in production and export of textile and fabrics, including silks, to various parts of the world.
The industry has suffered over the past years partly due to unregulated imports and also because of sanctions that have affected the ability of local textile companies to purchase raw materials and machinery from abroad.
However, a new round of US sanctions imposed since November enabled local producers to fill a gap created by decreased imports that followed a plunge in the value of Iran’s national currency rial.
Authorities said last year that exports of textile and apparel had increased by 36 and 25 percent in volume and value terms, respectively, for the year ending in March 2018, while around $1.5 billion worth of imports were recorded during the same period.