By: Maryam Azish

Iran gears up for trade, investment boom

News ID: 4147396 -
TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) –After decades of sanctions and taking apart from international lucrative markets, the Islamic republic Iran is now ready to take advantage of these opportunities.

Thanks to its rich economic and investment potentials, the majority Iranian industries are full of economic untapped opportunities especially the small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Regretfully, lack of global promotions on Iranian economic arena has led to the inattention of Iran potentials. Although the existing information about Iran is less widely and suitably published, many foreign business owners entering Iran are surprised at different infrastructures and advantages, and admit that Iran is not quite well known at the international.

At the moment, few countries could be seen in the world with Iran's conditions and opportunities for investment. After decades of sanctions and taking apart from international lucrative markets, the Islamic republic Iran is now ready to take advantage of these opportunities.

Meanwhile, following the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has received letters of credit (L/Cs) and finances from different countries which are keen to make investment in Iran.

Foreign Investment Projects

Head of Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance (OIETAI) Mohammad Khazaei has recently announced that Iran approved 31 foreign investment projects with a total value of $712 million, adding that OIETAI has approved over $21.8 billion worth of foreign investment since the eleventh government took office (in September 2013), IRNA reported.

Iran has absorbed $14 billion of the approved figure during the period, the official added.

Following the implementation of JCPOA, Iran has received letters of credit and finances from India, Russia, South Korea, China, Austria and Denmark, Khazaei stated.

He listed the €8-billion L/C from South Korean Exim Bank and Chinese $10-billion L/C and the €1-billion contract with an Austrian bank as Iran's main financial and banking achievements.

According to the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22), Iran should attract $3 billion in foreign investment annually.

Renewable Energy Sector

Meanwhile, Head of Renewable Energy and Power Utility Organization (SATBA) Mohammad Sadeqzadeh said that foreign investments worth $1.5 billion were attracted in the renewable energy sector.

He added that $4.1 billion in foreign investment projects in renewable energies has been registered.

During Iran Economic and Investment Opportunities Forum (IEIO 2017), which is scheduled for November 25-28 in Tehran, Iran will present investment opportunities valued at over $35 billion to foreign investors, said the event's executive secretary.

"Companies from China, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Russia, Japan, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, India, and Saudi Arabia active in various fields including tourism, clean energy, agriculture, oil, gas, petrochemicals and auto industry are to take part in the forum," Amirreza Hassani said.

The event, he noted, is to be held in cooperation with World Federation of Free and Special Economic Zones (FEMOZA), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA).

Mining Sector

Recently, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mehdi Karbasian announced that Iran is seeking $50 billion in investment for its mining industries out to 2022 and has signed agreements with several European and Asian banks in the past few months.

"We are in need of $50 billion for investment in the mining and mining industries of Iran," Karbasian told Reuters, speaking on the sidelines of the Imarc mining conference in Melbourne.

"In the past two months, we have had agreements with South Korea, Austria, Denmark and it's on the way for other countries like Germany," Karbasian added.

Foreign Investment Boom

A deal between world powers and Iran to wind back economic sanctions two years ago in return for modification on its nuclear program, has seen a boom in foreign investment in Iran, said an investor.

Diego Biasi, who is the CEO of Quercus Investment Partners, an infrastructure fund that specializes in renewable energy investments said that his UK-based fund is one of the world's largest investors in renewable energy.

Biasi told Sky News that there have so far been no concerns from investors about US President Donald Trump's policies towards Iran and the likelihood that they might return to a sanctions policy.

"By matter of fact, investors are increasing their interest in the opportunity that Iran is showing at the moment in the renewable energy sector," he said.

Biasi also said he has met a number of Australian investors during his recent visit to the country.

"Historically, Australia has been a trade partner of Iran before the sanctions, and is pushing new trade deals with Iran in the post-sanction era."

He said Australia's natural ability to supply solar power makes it an attractive market to invest in.

"In the foreseeable future, as we grow more in territories outside of Europe, we will be looking at Australia as one of the top priorities outside Europe," he added.

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