Minister of Industry and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri said in Tehran on Monday that with the 30 percent, the automobile industry registered the highest growth rate among all the sectors in the economy in the last Iranian year (ended March 20), IRNA reported.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremonies for opening of three new assembly lines at `Iran-Khodro` Industrial Group, he added that the sector will play a pivotal role in the country`s industrialization drive.
He said the outcomes of the right policies, including increased attention to quality, price, after-sale services, competitiveness as well as schemes to enter into joint production with foreign automobile and parts manufacturers are beginning to pay dividends. He said there are about 2,000 parts manufacturers in the country and the number of automobile produced will increase from the 500,000 units last year to over 700,000 units this year.
The industry employs about 500,000 people, Jahangiri said adding that the companies in addition to removing technical defects are striving to compete in international markets.
On the environment issue, Jahangiri said the companies have also taken important steps to upgrade their environmental standards and met international regulations.
Iran has been striving to promote its automobile industry through joint ventures with reputable foreign companies and permission of imports into its domestic car market to strengthen competition in the sector.
In a related news applications by over 25 private companies seeking permission to establish automobile factories are currently in the final stages of assessment by relevant organizations.
According to the Head of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) Reza Vayseh, neither IDRO nor the ministry of industries and mines have any reservations about issuing production permits raising the prospect for the active presence of the private sector in the auto industry in the very near future.
On joint auto production with foreign companies, Vayseh said an agreement has been signed with Malaysia`s Proton company which will cooperate with Iran Khodro and Saipa-auto-manufacturers for designing a joint `production platform.`
The IDRO head said a special committee is to submit within a month, a list of car makers to be authorized to import. "As soon as the list is completed, imports will get underway."
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