Singaporean businessmen urged to invest in Iran

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Iranian Ambassador to Singapore Javed Ansari says conditions in Iran after the removal of sanctiosn are fovourable and the opportunities for trade are unending.

Addressing the 1st Iran Investment Summit held in Singapore on Wednesday, the amabssador said Iran is the 29th largest economy globally with huge reseves of gas and oil and the economy and industry of Singapore can be a complementary to that of Iran in various ways.

The following is the full text of the ambassaoor’s speech:

His Excellency Dr Valiollah Seif, Dr Ahmad Jamali, respected officials and delegates – welcome and thank you for being here today.

It is heartening to know that today we have representatives not just from Singapore, but from Iran, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Australia. We are glad you could join us and make the 1st Iran Investment Summit in Singapore, organised by MillionaireAsia, in collaboration with Basio Consultants & Services (Hong Kong), a success. That many of you have travelled long distances to be here serves to remind us all just how important and fruitful good trade relations are to both the economy and business community.

Speaking as a representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have been fortunate to have had many years of close relations with Singapore that have been marked with mutual respect, warm political relations, and a fair size of trade. While the sanctions on the Iranian banking and industrial sectors did hamper this growth, the recent lifting of these sanctions, the execution of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the signing of the bilateral investment treaty in February has allowed us to see increasing economic and cultural exchanges between Singapore and Iran.

As many of you here would know, Iran is the 29th largest economy globally, holding the world’s second biggest gas reserves and fourth largest oil reserves. Some important numbers to look at is a GDP of approximately USD400 billion spread over a population of 80 million and such GDP is expected to have a growth of at least 4.5% further next year. After a few years of relatively-high inflation, this year Iranians are experiencing single-digit inflation, marked by greater ease in transfer of foreign currencies, opening LCs, operational connection to the SWIFT network. The current period of economic recovery is marked by lower cost of trade, lower banking rates and 2 faster growth of import/export activity. Over 60% of Iran’s local workforce is estimated to be below 30 years of age and highly educated by any standard
norm, including IT and foreign languages.

With these statistics in mind, Singapore’s economy and industry is complementary to that of Iran in numerous ways. Marine industries, for example, form a vast area of interest. Apart from the aggressive growth of oil and gas related offshore opportunities, Iran is also looking to expand its shipping fleet, which is an area that would welcome the cooperation of Singaporean companies for maintenance of rigs and vessels, among other things. Back on land, other large areas ripe for foreign investment include water desalination, irrigation technology and hydro-transfer projects.

Conversely, Singaporean companies can represent Iranian exporters of energy commodities, dried fruit, bitumen and petrochemical products in the SEA region. The cooperation grounds are also vast in soft commodities, power generation and engineering services.

As you will find out in the course of the day, the opportunities for trade are unending, and the time is now. It is my sincere hope that all of you here today will be able to find useful solutions to augment your business and form partnerships that will take you far in actualizing this long and historic relationship between our nations.
I would like to thank His Excellency, Dr Valiollah Seif, Governor, Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran for gracing the Summit as Keynote Speaker.
My thanks also go to MillionaireAsia for taking the initiative to organize the event together with Basio Consultants & Services (Hong Kong).

Thank you and I wish you all a busy and productive summit ahead.

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