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Removal of apparels from PTA with Turkey justified, says Iran

According to an official with Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, the removal of textile products from the list of items covered by Iran-Turkey Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was an essential step.

With competition from cheap Turkish imports, the apparel industry was bound to face a serious crisis, said the official, Ahmad Kimiaie-Asadid. Last month, ISNA reported that there is no mention of textile products on the list of Iran-Turkey PTA in the book of Imports/Exports Rules for the current Iranian year (March 2016-17). This means clothing imports from the neighboring country no longer enjoy lower import tariffs.

Mehdi Raeeszadeh of Iran Textile Association confirmed the news and said the move is expected to bring about a positive change in the domestic textile industry. According to the Anti-Smuggling Central Taskforce, some $2.7 billion worth of clothing are smuggled into Iran every year. The extensive land border with Turkey has enabled smugglers to easily cross to and fro carrying large amounts of goods. The retailers of smuggled clothes, including many shop owners in Tehran and border provinces such as Kurdistan and West Azarbaijan, frequently travel to Turkey and get their orders transported to depots on the Turkish side of the border, after which local smugglers and villagers carry the goods into mainland Iran.