A memorandum of understanding was signed in Tehran on Sunday between Iran's 'Aria' electronic company and Japan's Supra company for production of color TV sets and household appliances, IRNA reported.
Head of the Iranian company Saleh Vahedi said the production capacity is 180,000 color TV sets and other household appliances annually. The current production is slated to reach 50 percent of the nominal capacity, he added.
The Japanese concern was represented by chief operational officer Anup Gupta.
Vahedi said another agreement with another television manufacturer is scheduled to be finalized in three weeks for 50 percent of the plant's capacity to be allocated to production of color television sets.
He said about 25 percent of the production will be exported. He also said the Japanese partner in addition to supervising the production operations and supplying the raw material is also obligated to transfer the technical know-how to Iran.
Vahedi criticized the government policy of reducing tariff on imported color TV sets saying the step will benefit the importers. "Furthermore," he said, "the constantly changing laws is bound to hurt the domestic producers."
He said the electronic sector has witnessed progress and significant investments and "needs transparent and stable laws to advance further."
He said the country's needs for TV are about two million sets annually. The domestic manufacturers have the capacity of producing two million sets a year, "but, due to various factors they are producing below thei rcapacity of about 1.2 million sets per year," Vahedi added.
In related news, Head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines (ICCIM) said here last month that Iran is keen to use Japan's experiences to expand its small and medium scale industries.
Ali Naqi Khamoushi, in a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to Tehran Takekezu Kawamura, cited the objective of boosting employment as a priority of the fourth five-year development plan (March 2005-2010).
Petrochemicals, information technology, electronics and textiles are among the areas in which the two nations' private sectors could expand cooperation.
Although the two states have tried to forge higher trade and investments ties the total amount of trade exchanges between Iran and Japan declined last year, an official of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) said in an exclusive interview with IRNA In October.
Japan exported some dlrs 777 million worth of goods to Iran in 2002 which showed a 2.4 fall compared with the figure for the previous year, said the Japanese official.
Japanese goods exported to Iran were mostly machinery, ferrous products, vehicles as well as auto parts, he pointed out.
The volume of Iranian goods imported by Japan during the same period stood at dlrs 4.74 billion, indicating a 6.1 percent dip compared with the figure in 2001.
Iran's exports to Japan constituted only 1.4 percent of the total amount of goods exported to the country from different countries worldwide during the said period, he said.
Iranian goods exported to Japan were mostly oil products, carpets and various foodstuffs.
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