Iran to Hand Small Ports to Private Sector

Deputy Director of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMOI) Mohammad Ali Hassanzadeh said on Sunday that a plan to privatize small ports north and south of the country would be implemented in the upcoming months as the government seeks to spur more shipping activity.

He added that transfer of ownership of small ports would begin once a current study phase to evaluate economic and infrastructure capacities of the ports is concluded.

We have 48 small ports in Iran and handing them over to the private sector would begin in two months time. said Hassanzadeh. adding that most of the ports that are planned for privatization are located south of Iran on the Persian Gulf and on the Sea of Oman.

The PMOI is preparing tenders for the sale of the small ports to the private owners. said a report by the ILNA news agency. adding that potential winners of the bids should prove they have the sufficient economic and financial capacity to start operations at the ports.   

According to the report. the PMOI defines small ports as those capable of accommodating ships carrying 500 to 1.000 tons of cargo and equipped with structures like breakwater. warehouses and offices to host administrative officials.

According to a government report in 2015. small ports had been involved in 7.5 percent of volume and over nine percent of the value of Iran’s total yearly trade.

The privatization of the ports come amid government efforts to activate more trade channels across the country as it seeks to minimize dependence on crude exports amid American sanctions that have affected exports.

Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran began in November 2018. five months after US President Donald Trump withdrew from an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

Claiming that the bans were working properly. Trump tightened them in May. only to see that Iran was finding new solutions to recoup the losses.

Last month. Deputy Head of Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization (ISIPO) Ali Asqar Masaheb announced that Iran will undertake new measures to further strengthen its non-oil exports with a new bill to be tabled at the Iranian Parliament.

Iranian officials started planning for policies to counter the US possible sanctions a year before Donald Trump entered into office in early 2017. The policies are now proving effective as economic indexes are indicating inefficacy of the US pressures.

Earlier in July. Iranian Industry Minister Reza Rahmani said that despite US efforts to cripple Tehran’s economy. year-on-year comparison shows that the country’s domestic production has increased in the first quarter of the local calendar year (March 21-June 21).

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