Official: Iran, sole in Middle East with upward trend in foreign investment attraction

Business Materials 16 December 2012 14:05 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 16/ Trend G.Mehdi/

Iran is the sole country in the Middle East with a continuous upward trend in terms of attracting foreign investments, IRNA quoted Iranian deputy economy minister Behrouz Alishiri as saying.

"Iran was in the 7th place in this regard in 2008, but its status was improved to 3rd in 2011," he added.

In the calendar year 1386 (March 2007-2008), Iran attracted some $1.8 billion in foreign investment, he said, adding that the figure was increased to $2.1 billion, $2.6 billion, $3.8 billion, and $4.3 billion over the course of four years.

Iran has held 19 specialized conferences in Qatar, Malaysia, South Korea (2 conferences), India, Singapore, China (4 conferences), Thailand, Spain, Italy (2 conferences), Ukraine, Turkey (2 conferences), and Portugal (2 conferences) on introducing investment opportunities in Iran, he noted.

On December 1, Alishiri told ISNA that foreign investment in Iran has surged by 86 percent since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, compared to the same period in the previous year.

Despite international economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the foreign investment amount is even 24 percent more than the previous year's total sum, he added, without elaborating.

In September, Alishiri said that foreign investment plans worth as much as $10 billion are expected to be transacted by Iran during the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2013.

Foreign investment plans in Iran amounted to $4.3 billion last year, showing a 27 percent growth compared on the previous year, Alishiri said.

In October 2011, he noted that Iran was one of the top destinations in the world for direct foreign investment and that despite the economic sanctions more than 400 foreign companies were directly investing in Iran.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

U.S. sanctions entered into force on June 28, while EU bans on Iranian oil imports came into force on July 1.

In October, the EU approved another major package of economic sanctions on Iran.