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Why should I invest in Iran

Iran qualifies from many respects to be a good location for investment and doing business. it has huge potential for investing after the termination of economic sanctions, Some of the features are highlighted below:
1. Vast domestic market with a population of 80 million growing steadily 2. Young, educated and cheap labor force 3. Excellent strategic geographical position 4. The quick and easy access to neighboring markets with a population of 350 to 400 million 5. Developed and ready infrastructure 6. Cheap and abundant raw materials, energy and transportation 7. The four-season climate and climate variability in the country 8. Fiscal incentives 9. Security and political stability 10. Untapped and consumer market ..

Iranian ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei on Friday appreciated the wide cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in tourism sector.

Sanaei, who was speaking in a live interview with Russian radio broadcaster Vesti FM, said the number of tourists in 2015 doubled in comparison to the that a year ago.

The Iranian tourists now, apart from Moscow, visit other Russian cities such as Saint Petersburg and Sochi, the ambassador said.

Iran has also attracted a large number of Russian tourists with its tourism attractions in Isfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis and Kish Island, the ambassador said.

New Zealand’s Minister of Trade Todd McClay will arrive in Tehran on Friday heading a high-ranking delegation for talks to revive trade between the two countries after 12 years.
New Zealand’s Minister of Trade Todd McClay will arrive in Tehran on Friday heading a high-ranking delegation for talks to revive trade between the two countries after 12 years.

New Zealand says it is sending its Minister of Trade Todd McClay to Tehran on Friday to look into the prospects of reviving trade with the Islamic Republic after a hiatus of over a decade.

McClay will lead a senior-level business delegation on New Zealand’s first trade mission to Tehran in 12 years, the country’s government announced in a statement as reported by the media.

“There is enormous opportunity for Iran and New Zealand to work together to boost two-way trade,” the statement quoted McClay as saying.

“Iran has traditionally been a very important market for our sheep meat and butter. However, exports have diminished over a number of years. Since the lifting of UN sanctions, there are now renewed opportunities to re-establish this trade as well as new opportunities in the education, construction, food and beverage, energy, forestry, specialized manufacturing and services sectors,” he added.

McClay said Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif had presented a $1 billion prospect for New Zealand’s renewed trade with Iran during his visit to the country earlier this year.

“This mission will be an important first step towards delivering on this exciting opportunity,” he emphasized in his statement.

The statement added that representatives from 18 companies, universities and educational institutions will accompany McClay during his visit to Tehran.

They include NIG Nutritionals, Tait Communications, Enatel Limited, Sealord, Silver Fern Farms, Westland Milk Products, Fonterra, FrameCAD, Flight Coffee, Switchfloat, University of Canterbury, University of Auckland, ANZCO, Auckland University of Technology, Pacific Helmets, Pelco NZ, NZ Bankers Association, and Pultron Composites.

McClay has invited Labour trade spokesman, David Clark, to join him on this visit in the interests of promoting a bipartisan approach to trade, which is critical to New Zealand’s prosperity, the government of New Zealand emphasized further in its statement.

New Zealand minister of trade, heading a business delegation, is due in Tehran next week, says Jalaladin Namini Miyanji Iran’s Ambassador to the island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

‘The visit by Todd McClay and the accompanying high-ranking business delegation to the Islamic Republic is going to be the first of its kind following the implementation of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,’ Namini told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Tuesday.

He said that the business delegation from New Zealand, comprised of representatives from the private sector in the country, and officials from Iran are going to explore new ways for the two countries to develop their economic ties.

Iran’s envoy to Wellington also said that Iran and New Zealand are trying to remove banking and financial obstacles to ease bilateral economic cooperation.

‘Reestablishment of banking ties between the two nations is another issue expected to be discussed between the two countries’ officials,’ Namini said.

The day-long international conference on trade with Iranian companies kicked off on Monday in London with the participation of Iranian and British officials and entrepreneurs.

Hassan Forouzanfar, a board member of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), UK Trade and Investment director Lisa Weedon and Julian Lean from the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) were present in the conference.

The conference was held to absorb finance and investment for Iranian development projects particularly in field of oil, gas, mining and technology.

The Iranian and British entrepreneurs will continue bilateral talks on Tuesday.

The Iran trade conference was the fifth conference since March 2016 which was held in London to encourage investment in Iran.

MTN Group says it has devised plans to expand its investments in Iran, adding that e-commerce will be a central theme of its future business operations in the country.
MTN Group says it has devised plans to expand its investments in Iran, adding that e-commerce will be a central theme of its future business operations in the country.

South Africa’s telecom giant MTN Group says it has devised serious plans to boost its presence in the Iranian market, emphasizing that e-commerce will comprise a key theme of the company’s agenda for its future business in Iran.   

A top MTN official told Reuters that Iran expansion plans were part of a wider 10-year strategy to cement the company’s position in what he described as risky but lucrative frontier markets.

“We’re very excited about Iran and the possibilities there,” MTN’s newly appointed head of strategy, mergers and acquisitions, Stephen van Coller, said in an interview with Reuters. “That digital economy in Iran is going to move fast.”

MTN, which is Africa’s biggest mobile phone company by sales, has already set aside about $700 million in capital expenditure that includes revamping its network in Iran, added the report.  Nevertheless, it is also looking to expand its services to include rapidly expanding its e-commerce offering in the country.

“While our presence in Iran’s e-commerce space is still relatively nascent, it is growing rapidly, particularly in the retail and travel sectors,” Coller said.

With a young population and high levels of mobile ownership, Iran is seen as an opportunity for telecoms companies seeking to expand into frontier markets.

“As those restraints (sanctions) get lifted you will see that economy grow really quickly. It’s almost like South Africa in 1994 in a way,” said Coller, referring to the end of apartheid.

Founded with the help of South African government, MTN is seen as one of South Africa’s biggest corporate successes of the post-apartheid era but in recent years it has been regarded as a stock with limited growth outlook, Reuters added.

The company’s main current investment in Iran comprises a joint telecom venture named Irancell in which MTN has a share of 49 percent.  Today, Irancell is the second-biggest mobile phone operator in Iran by the number of subscribers.

‘Hussein Allawi’, Chief Executive of Frontier Exchange stresses that the British firms are willing to enter Iranian market.

Following is the full text interview with Hussein Allawi, Chief Executive of Frontier Exchange and organizer of ‘Roadshow of Iranian Growth Companies’ international conference which is due to be held in London on 28th November:

Q. What have been the objectives of this conference?

A. Our focus is to use the event as a platform and give an opportunity for British businesses, specifically invertors to have an understanding of the state of the Iranian private sector.

There has been lots of conversation on the economy overall; investors know that Iran is very diversified industrially, there are investment opportunity in oil and gas, mining, technology but there has not been much conference that specifically tries to promote Iranian companies.

The other aspect is to give a platform for businesses from Iran to come to London and give presentation about their investments and financial needs, and then give an opportunity to them to meet on one to one bases its British companies.

It will also give the British businesses the tool to help facilitate their market entry. So obviously people know about the Iran’s opportunity but people necessarily don’t know about the circumstances of some of Iran companies , and so they want to have opportunity to know more about those companies, they want to know in content how they could do business in Iran, what are the opportunities by different industries such as oil and Gas, petrochemical

Q. Why are British firms slow in getting business with Iran?

A. Clearly in terms of actual investment is very limited. Sanctions are still having an ongoing effect as well as banking impasse that’s preventing any payments transactions from taking place.

But certainly there is a tremendous interest from the UK point of view to know more about the Iranian companies, export opportunities, how they can actually do business there.

There have been delegations and British companies travelling frequently to Tehran looking to engage with the private sector there.

So people are certainly laying the foundation to do business, once these issues are resolved.

Q. What could be the significance of Donald Trump’s victory in trade relationships with Iran?

A. People are still waiting to see his impact could have on trade relation with Iran.
There has already been quite a significant movement from the Europe side towards establishing strong trade and investment relation with Iran, so I think moving in the other direction would serve the hamper those quite fruitful conversation and commercial relationship that have been established.

So I very much hope that decision would be taken to operate in a pragmatic way which is the interest of European companies and government.

Q. What could be the impact of Brexit on Trade relationship with Iran?

A. Personally I am optimist in terms of commercial relations of the UK following Brexit. I think there is a great opportunity now for the UK to recast itself as an international emerging market centre of financing.

It is very helpful in a way if right steps are taken now to establish those strong commercial relationships both for the UK and Iran.

Following the implementation of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s banking system has managed to promote ties with various countries including Ukraine, says a Central Bank of Iran official.

In the post-sanctions era, Iran has opened brokerage accounts in India, China, South Korea, Japan, Russia, Turkey and many European countries, including Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland and the Switzerland, said CBI Deputy for Foreign Currency Affairs Gholam-Ali Kamyab in a joint Iran-Ukraine banking meeting on Thursday.

The meeting attended by the two countries’ deputy heads of central banks for foreign currency affairs and representatives of Iranian and Ukrainian banks was held in the premises of the CBI.

After removal of sanctions, all banking operations including opening accounts and transferring funds between the Iranian and foreign banks have been possible without any limitations, Kamyab told the gathering.

Underlining the need for promoting efficient banking ties for enhancement of commercial exchanges, he said that Iranian banks have so far established over 614 brokerage ties with 230 international banks.

Referring to the level of Iran-Ukraine commercial exchanges, he said that based on figures released by the Trade Development Organization, average annual trade exchanges between the two countries stood at 321 million dollars over the past ten years until the end of 2016.

Ukrainian Deputy Governor Oleg Churiy, on his part, said that his country has no limits for establishing banking ties with Iran.

At the end of the meeting, the two officials signed a memorandum of understanding in a bid to promote banking cooperation.

Iranian Ambassador in the UK Hamid Baeedinejad said on Wednesday that Tehran is seeking to promote cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Baeedinejad made the remarks after he presented a copy of his credentials to IMO’s Secretary General Kitack Lim during a meeting late in the day.

He further noted that after years of limited relations with the international organization due to sanctions, now a new chapter has been opened for collaboration with the organization which will hopefully entail great achievements for the country.

‘Iran is among top 21 powerful marine countries in the world with a large volume of oil and cargo exchanges through sea routes,’ he said.

After removal of sanctions, Iran’s situation in the fields of shipping and marine has reached a desirable level, he said, noting that given its major capacities, Iran can have a powerful presence in the world’s seas.

As to his meeting with Lim, Iranian ambassador also said that the official confirmed Iran’s geopolitical situation is such that it can pave the way for promoting maritime cooperation between the country and other nations.

IMO is the UN specialized agency responsible for the safety of life at sea, maritime security and the protection of the marine environment through prevention of sea pollution caused by ships.

It is responsible for convening international conferences on shipping matters and for drafting international conventions or agreements on this subject.

The current emphasis is on ensuring relevant conventions and treaties are properly implemented by the countries that have accepted them.

Head of Austrian Steiermark Chamber of Commerce Joseph Herek said on Wednesday that Austria is keen on cooperation with Iran on environment and motor-car industry.

He made the remarks on the second day of Iranian delegation’s visit to Steiermark, Austria.

He said that Iran is a major market for export and commercial partner for Austria.

‘We are very interested to help companies open up new relations with each other through sharing information and cooperation,’ he said.

Economic activists from Steiermark visited Tehran last February. Tehran and Steiermark chambers of commerce signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on trade and commerce cooperation during the visit.

Iranian commercial delegation led by Masoud Khansari is currently in Steiermark to hold talks with directors of the private sector and economic activists.

Iran is the safest country in the region which boasts of unique reserves of oil, gas and minerals, the Austrian official said.

Iran can attract 50 million dollars Austrian investment each year, he said.

He hoped that the two countries will develop economic cooperation by the removal of banking obstacles in the way of free trade with the European states, especially Austria.

Managing Director of Pergas Consortium Colin Rolwley said on Wednesday that conclusion of an oil deal with National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) is another example of foreign investment in Iran.

Rowley made the remarks in an address to ceremony to ink the contract with Iranian petroleum industry about joint venture investment, training workforce and transfer of technology.

He said valuable works can be done in the oil field in Iran with regards to abundance of experts in the NISOC and investment by Pergas.

He said that for development of oil fields and reserves, the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technique would be utilized to enhance oil recovery and create jobs.

‘The companies being member to the consortium, would prepare a complete cycle for development of oil fields.’

In the meantime, Managing Director of AGR Company Iain Morrison said that the EOR technique can be used for development of the oil fields, drilling and management of reserves.

Morisson said there is a drilling company in Norway with record of drilling oilwells in the Middle East.

He said there is a very good group in Norway specialized in education of technicians working in the oil and gas industries and to this end a contract has been signed with Sharif University of Technology for providing education for students in oil and gas industries and for transfer of technology in a special manner.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters on the sidelines of the inking ceremony, Rowley said his company is willing to undertake the project for development of Iranian oil fields.

‘We came to Iran since six years ago and since then we carried out explorations and studies on oilfield and now reached the contract.’

Noting that there is no problem with finance, he said, ‘We are much interested to start work as soon as possible.’

‘Now we have necessary capital for enforcement of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), ready to transfer it to Iran. If financial situation envisioned by the contact allowed, we will soon start work. The volume of investment will be specified in the future.’

AGR Managing Director told reporters that they were very happy to cooperate with the NISOC.

‘We have two objectives: One is academic and we’ve signed a contract with Sharif University of Technology for the purpose and another one is operational in nature.’

He added that upon receipt of information, we will study which technology for development of fields we should transfer to Iran.’

The NISOC and International Pergas Consortium signed oil MoU and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in Ahvaz city on Wednesday to study Karanj oil field and Shadegan oil field.

The NDA is a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to or by third parties.

It is a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement.

NISOC Managing Director Bijan Alipour said that the agreement with Pergas was signed following 60 sessions of discussions with 33 domestic and foreign consortiums.

Pergas is a consortium of European, Canadian and Asian firms as well as the Sharif University of Technology of Iran and is to carry out studies over the two Iranian oilfields.

Alipour added that four oilfields and nine reserves have been ceded to NISOC.

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