Reza Rashidpour, Iranian television presenter talks about how corruption works in Iranian auto-industry.
Rashidpour: People really want to know why the condition of the car industry in Korea that started 10 years after us is like this. And why can’t we be [in the same condition]? What is wrong, apart from those governmental issues that you talked about?
–= Rashidpour, I think we are not frank with people about our industry. And not being honest with people causes a lot of problems. That is why we have corruption in our car industry and we have mafia in part manufacturing and overseas purchases.
What does this mafia do? If it wants to develop and design Iranian products and work with Iranians and universities, then they will gain nothing. But when they go abroad, some people will, unfortunately, benefit from rent-seeking and corruption in overseas purchases. When you see that many people become billionaires overnight from overseas purchases, it is because of these issues.
Otherwise, why aren’t we as much willing about export? 3 countries of Russia, Iraq, and Qatar just opened their doors to importing. And we were the closest country to them, and we should have taken these markets with our exports. No one even goes after it. Why? Because there is no rent-seeking in it. And it is not possible to take advantage of the situation.
Unfortunately, in Iran, people in different levels and positions, [abuse their positions]. Look at the part manufacturers. I read, for example, that Sapco CEO had said we have 600 part-manufacturers. There are 600 part-manufacturers. But what do they manufacture? They manufacture car carpet, they manufacture seats, they make a seat cover. But as for auto-parts, you have to import them from Continental and give it to certain people there so that some people get the benefits here.
Or you talk about manufacturing domestically. Rashidpour, have we ever told people that we manufacture parts in China and then we print on them, “Made in Iran”. And when the parts come to the customs office, then the auto-maker writes a letter to the customs office, saying, “ignore ‘Made in Iran’, and we promise not to distribute them in the market.” Is that being frank? Is this becoming like Korea? Is that the way we have something to say in the world?