Exporting and selling goods in foreign markets has certain nuances and sensitivities that ignoring them may lead to the failure of the export process. Until a few years ago, oil and gas accounted for the bulk of the country’s exports, but with the emphasis, especially from the Third Economic Development Plan, on the development of non-oil exports, this has become a major focus of export development policy and its share has increased.
In this regard, the Research Center of the Islamic Consultative Assembly in a bulletin entitled “Pathology of non-oil exports in Iran” examined its trend over a 17-year period between 2001 and 1397.
In this bulletin, also from different statistical angles, export-related items such as dollar value and major share of export goods, classification of share of export goods, major trading partners and analysis of their share of Iran’s foreign trade, valuation of export goods, calculation of export goods concentration indicators and Other cases have also been analyzed, some of which are mentioned below.
Concept of export and analysis of the country’s export situation
Exports of non-oil goods, which in this study also include petrochemical products, are generally divided into two parts: exports of traditional products and industrial products. This issue is important because the major part of the export of industrial goods requires a lot of investment and capital formation, and its marketing is associated with its own complexities and conditions.

On the other hand, the export of traditional goods refers to products that are not produced in a factory way or do not require a lot of capital. These include agricultural and livestock products such as fruits, live animals and their products, products and minerals such as metallic and non-metallic minerals, precious stones, as well as handicrafts and household products.

Another part of exports is related to the export of services. Approximately 50% of GDP is related to services. Exports of services in 2017 were close to $ 10.4 billion, which, considering the figure of $ 33.3 billion in exports of non-oil goods this year, accounted for about 25% of total non-oil exports.

Examining the trend of Iran’s non-oil exports based on statistics provided by the country’s customs shows that from the beginning of the third development plan until 1390, these exports were upward and with a two-year break in 1391 and 1392 again from 1393 (excluding 4 139) to its upward trend Continued data. According to the report, Iran’s non-oil exports in the peak years of the country’s oil revenues did not exceed $ 32 billion, but the country has achieved more in recent years in realizing foreign exchange earnings in this area, although recently due to tightening economic sanctions on non-oil exports have declined in value. .

Asymmetric pattern of business partners

Exports of non-oil goods over the past 17 years have grown by an average annual growth of 16.2 percent from $ 4.2 billion to $ 46.8 billion, with the largest share coming from minerals, chemicals and plastics.

Despite governments’ efforts to increase exports of industrial goods to world markets, statistics on Iran’s foreign trade show that a large portion of Iran’s non-oil exports are still affected by oil, and gas condensate and petrochemicals top the list of Iran’s non-oil goods. . Iran’s famous goods in world markets have not changed for years and pistachios, saffron and Iranian carpets are still considered the most famous export goods of the country.

However, many experts believe that Iran has the potential to export a lot of non-oil goods, and with investment and attention, many brands can be built for the country in global markets. The export structure of a country gradually becomes more diverse through the stages of development, and over time it will become more concentrated and less diversified in some economic sectors. Accordingly, it is necessary to diversify the production structure of a country in order to diversify its exports and then reach the stage of export specialization.

The trend of changes in the target market also indicates that there has been no significant change in terms of the number of countries that have imported goods from Iran, but the overall trend is downward and shows that we have lost the market of some countries in this period. But an examination of the volume of exports to each of the countries trading with Iran shows that a small number of countries have a high share in our exports and a very large number of them have a small share.

Unfortunately, the trend of these changes is such that the number of countries that provided 80% of our export revenue has been reduced from 23 countries in 1380 to 9 countries in 1396. In 2001, a country accounted for a little over 15% of Iran’s total exports of goods and about 55% of Iran’s exports to 9 countries.

Our export pattern is asymmetric for our trading partners; Asymmetry means, as mentioned, a small number of countries have a large share in our trade and a large number of them have a very small share. Also, in 1397, out of 147 countries, only three countries, China, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, made 54% of the foreign exchange earned from the export of non-oil goods to our country. In other words, this year, only 2% of our trading partners accounted for 54% of our foreign exchange earnings from exports of non-oil goods.

Overall, the relatively strong focus on export target markets can be considered a threat to the country. Meanwhile, the UAE’s share of imports from Iran in general decreased, but the share of China and Iraq were both up, with the difference that the slope of Iran’s share of exports to China is almost double the slope of the share of exports to Iraq. Planning to maintain the export market and develop the export of goods, as well as to count the issues and problems in the way of non-oil exports, requires recognizing the current state of export facilities on the one hand and foreign customers on the other.