Baku, Azerbaijan, May 22
By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:
Following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA aka nuclear deal) January 16, Iranian government led by pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani has been developing plans for luring foreign investments aimed at renewing the country's aging industry and rebuilding the Islamic Republic's depressed economy.
Western sanctions over the past recent years targeted the Islamic Republic's key energy and financial sectors, crippling its economy.
Now with the removal of nuclear-related sanctions, President Rouhani's government aims to attract about $50 billion worth investments per year.
Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayeen has briefed Trend's correspondent in Baku on the latest economic developments in the Islamic Republic encouraging foreign investors, in particular Azerbaijani entrepreneurs to reap benefits from created economic chances in his country.
"Nuclear-related sanctions have been removed and other sanctions against the Islamic Republic will gradually be lifted in the future. It is considered a national triumph," Mohsen Pak Ayeen said.
Saying that the groundwork for investment in the Islamic Republic has been laid following the termination of sanctions, he added that Tehran has managed to lure $3.418 billion in investment for launching 41 projects.
The ambassador noted that the output and exports of Iran's oil have doubled after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"The volume of Iran's oil exports has reached 2.4 million barrels per day," he added.
Iran's Oil Ministry plans to enhance cooperation with neighboring countries on the projects for establishing gas pipelines, investing in LNG projects and implementing petrochemical projects.
Briefing about the plans and priorities of Iran's Oil Ministry in post sanctions era he further said that the country plans to strengthen its position in global markets and finalize the new model of oil and gas contracts, namely the Iran Petroleum Contracts (IPC).
Industrial states interested in Iranian business
The high number of visits by high-ranking delegations from various countries shows foreign states' interest in doing business in Iran.
Mohsen Pak Ayeen noted that nine presidents, five prime ministers, three parliament speakers and 28 foreign ministers have visited Iran over the past five months since the JCPOA was implemented.
Saying that several developed and industrial countries are ready to invest in enormous projects in Iran, he called upon Azerbaijani entrepreneurs to invest in profitable projects in Iran.
High-speed rails, railway electric traction systems, aviation, and transit corridors are of high interest for investment, as a number of industrial and developed countries have expressed their readiness to invest in the mentioned sectors in Iran.
Saying that major developments have taken place in the country's aviation system after decades of embargo, Pak Ayeen added that 118 Airbus and 20 ATR aircraft are expected to be delivered to the country in the forms of hire purchase directly from the manufacturers.
He also touched upon the plans for developing the country's major aviation gateways.
The ambassador stated that crucial steps have been taken for establishing Imam Khomeini International Airport City Company, including a free trade zone and an especial economic zone, as well as the second terminal of the airport with a capacity for serving 5.4 million passengers per year.
Speaking about Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, he said a memorandum of understanding has been recently signed with Italy for the renovation of an area of 80,000 square meters at the airport. He described the decision for the renovation of Mehrabad Airport as a significant development, as the airport has not been modernized over the past 40 years.
Pak Ayeen elaborated on cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan on transportation projects, saying that the Rasht-Astara railway aimed at linking Iranian and Azerbaijan railways is currently under construction.
Azerbaijan has allocated $500 million for the project, said the ambassador.
Saying that Iran and China have recently signed a deal on launching high-speed rails connecting Tehran to Qom and Esfahan Cities, the envoy added that Tehran - Mashahd railway is also projected to be electrified.
Concluding on transportation projects, he said that the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways inked a contract for purchasing rails from India and within the next year 2000 km of railroads will be constructed in the country.
The JCPOA has introduced new opportunities for improving Iran's economy, the ambassador believes.
Speaking about banking ties between Iran and the world he expressed hope that the ties will be normalized soon.
However, Pak Ayeen criticized some leading international banks for failing to have close ties with Iran due to political reasons and said they could be proper partners for Iran.
He pointed to Central Bank of Azerbaijan Governor Elman Rustamov's recent visit to Iran and said that the ties between Iranian banks and a number of international medium-sized banks have already been normalized.
Iran's Ambassador to Azerbaijan welcomed the idea of opening the branches of foreign banks in Iran and said Tehran will give support to Azerbaijani banks to establish their branches and offices in the Islamic Republic.
Farhad Daneshvar is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Farhad_Danesh