Addressing a press conference on sidelines of the Third International Exhibition of Bread, Sweets and Chocolates, Jahangiri said there are now more than 900 industrial units active in the field, producing about 900,000 tons of products a year.
Jahangiri said about 600,000 tons of sweets and chocolates are annually produced in Iran, about 40,000 to 50,000 tons of which are exported.
Praising the high quality of Iranian sweets and chocolates, Jahangiri said the products are competitive on the international markets, matching related standards.
As for problems of Iranian sweet and chocolate producers and exporters, the minister said the high production cost, weak marketing and high tariffs in the target markets and public taste are the main stumbling blocks.
Despite an average 15 percent inflation rate in Iran in recent years and a subsequent spiraling production cost, the prices of Iranian sweets and chocolates continued to decline compared to the rise in global prices.
On the marketing problem, the minister referred to an imbalance of exports (dlrs six billion) and imports (about dlrs 30 billion), which have put the country in the importer position with weak marketing performance.
On the high tariffs levied on Iranian sweets and chocolates exports bound for the destination markets, Jahangiri said the World Trade Organization (WTO) members levy high tariffs on the Iranian goods, making it difficult for them to have high competitive power.
He said public taste is an important factor for progress and development of the sweet and chocolate industry in Iran, adding that the producers should take the key factor into consideration.
He added that certain consumer goods are imported by passengers to Iran, creating an unfair competition on domestic market for Iranian producer -- a problem needing to have a proper solution.
Calling the share of foreigners in related investment as 'meager,' Jahangiri said there should be efforts to win contribution of foreign companies with a reliable and valid international brand so as to lead the way to the important global markets.
The Third International Exhibition of Bread, Sweets and Chocolates was inaugurated here on Monday in a ceremony attended by Jahangiri, with 227 companies, including 166 from Iran and 62 from other countries, showcasing their products.
Taiwan, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Denmark, the US, Spain, India, France, Switzerland, UK, the UAE, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Australia and Indonesia are represented in the four-day expo.
On display, there are sweets, chocolates, as well as related machinery and raw materials.
According to the organizers of the exhibition, the two earlier exhibitions had been helpful in exports and positive growth in quality of the products and related packaging industry and technology, pushing the export revenues to dlrs 75 million in 2003 from dlrs 40 million in 2001.
... Payvand News - 9/6/04 ... --