The report by Plan and Budget Organization of Iran (PBO) indicated that exports had topped $44.31 billion in the 12-month period, an increase of 5.9 percent compared to the figures recorded in March 2013, Press TV reported.
It said refined products derived from oil and condensates accounted for less than half of the value of the exports, around $19 billion.
The report said Iran’s total imports in the period stood at $42.612 billion, down from nearly $50 billion in 2013.
The PBO said it was the first time in five years that Iran could post a trade surplus of around $2 billion, mainly thanks to a significant increase in exports of products totally unrelated to the oil industry.
The figures come amid a surge in Iran’s exports of products like food, fuel and construction materials to neighboring countries.
Trade has further increased this year as government data suggests busier times in ports south and north of the country.
Iran’s Roads and Urban Development Ministry said earlier that processing activity at ports had increased between March and August to cover 68 million tons of cargo.
The boost in Iran’s trade comes despite sanctions imposed by United States.
The bans were enacted in November, with the aim that they could hamper Iran’s crude exports and lead to reduced activity in trade.
Washington then toughened the sanctions in May when it lifted waivers granted to certain countries to continue business with Iran.
According to a PBO report released on Monday, foreign inflows into Iranian financial assets have increased by nearly four times in five years, according to a report which highlights government measures to facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
The report showed that net FDI flows for the year ending in March 2018 totaled $5.1 billion.
It said the figure, which is just over one percent of Iran’s GDP, showed an increase of 390 percent compared to the same period in 2013 when the total inflows reported by PBO were $1.3 billion.
The report said the figures were related to the investment approved by the government and published in official budget announcements. It said actual investment that had taken place in the 12-month period may differ from government figures.
The surge in FDI comes amid Iran’s efforts to boost inflows of investment amid US sanctions that have hampered government’s access to foreign currencies.
Foreign investors flocked to Iran after the country signed a major nuclear agreement with international powers in July 2015, allowing sanctions that had hampered economic activity to be lifted.
However, a unilateral decision by the United States last year to withdraw from the nuclear deal led to a renewed wave of sanctions on Iran and caused investors to abandon projects they had launched in the country.
However, the government recently announced measures to increase FDI and encourage foreigners to get involved in new economic and industrial ventures in Iran.
Checks at airports and arrival points have been eased to help investors and tourists avoid potential problems that might be caused by US sanctions when they visit other countries.