TEHRAN, July 9 (Mehr News Agency) – Iran will soon lift a ban on import of foreign made cars, an official of the Organization for Expansion of Industries said Wednesday.

“I think our auto manufacturing industry has put its infancy behind and is now capable of competing with other giant car manufacturers in the world,” he announced in an interview.

 

“Of course the tariffs for the imported cars will be too high now to prevent any damage to the domestic manufacturers, but we have prepared a plan to reduce them stage by stage during the next five years,” he added.

 

The main reason for levying high import taxes on the imported cars is to continue our support for the domestic manufactures,” he added.

 

Today we do not have any problem for joint ventures with foreign auto manufacturers even if they decide to have 100 percent of the shares of their investment in a company in Iran, he added.

 

Earlier Iran had some reservation; foreign companies were not allowed to have more than 49 percent of the shares.

 

Today foreign companies are welcome to have hundred percent of the shares of their auto manufacturing company after Iran agrees to be established here.

 

The annual rate of car production in Iran jumped up from 27,000 cars in 1989 to 500,000 cars in 2002. The target for 2005 is 750,000 cars a year.

 

Iranians complain that the prices of cars are very expensive in Iran. One reason normally cited for the high prices of domestically manufactured or assembled cars is ban on the import of foreign made cars.

 

MS/SM

END

MNA

 

 

News Code 597

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