Iran has recorded improved trade balances with 100 countries in the fiscal year 2003-04, due in part to government interventions that include support for letters of credit (L/Cs), according to the ICC’s DCPro, the documentary credits information provider.

In an analytical report, the Economic News Desk of the official IRNA news agency says Iran owes its success to its active economic diplomacy and efforts to prepare the ground for the promotion of non-oil exports.

The study analyses the period 1997-2002 during which Iran’s promotion of non-oil commodity exports included measures such as tax exemptions for exporters of goods and services and selective price support measures.

In the 1995-96 fiscal year, Iran recorded increased trade balances with just 56 countries.

The report also describes the government’s support for “voluminous letters of credit”.

Last year the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) said it would support LCs for trade with Iraq and South Africa.

Earlier this year the EGFI said it would support LCs to boost trade between Iran and Pakistan.

The government also claims that in the years under analysis improvements were made to the banking system which, according to the study, made the banking sector more competitive.