In an attempt to reduce dependence on the European Union and United States for growth, Indian garment exporters are exploring opportunities in Iran. A delegation led by the Ministry of Commerce and accompanied by over half a dozen industry officials recently met their Iranian counterparts. The Indian delegation discussed a host of issues including prevailing taxes and relaxation in policy support for hassle-free export of textiles to Iran.
As Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles observed although the United States and the European Union are important markets, India is exploring new markets for textiles exports to reduce dependence on these two regions. India has been away from Iranian markets not because of preferential treatment like European Union, but on account of extremely high import tax levied by the government there. An import tax of 200 per cent was levied on apparels and textiles until two years ago which has been gradually slashed to 55 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.
Following the Indian delegation’s visit, tax authorities in Iran have agreed to reduce import duty on textiles and apparels to a 20-25% level or even lower over the next two years.