Official: Foreign investments in Iran hit record high

Azerbaijan, Baku, May.4/ Trend F.Karimov/

The amount of foreign investment in Iran reached its peak in the past [Iranian calendar] year 1391, the Mehr News agency quoted Iranian deputy finance and economic affairs minister Behrouz Alishiri as saying.

The investment figure has been reported to UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), he said.

"If UNCTAD approves the figure, we will announce it," he said.

The past Iranian calendar year ended on March 20.

However, Alishiri said that foreign investments in the country rose by 45 percent compared to 1390.

Iran needs around $1.3 trillion to materialize objectives of its fifth five-year economic development plan, Alishiri said on Wednesday.

To this end, annually $300 billion should be invested, he added.

Iran's fifth five-year economic development plan ends in 2015.

In December 2011, Alishiri said that Iran needs up to $300 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) annually by 2015 to attain 8 percent economic growth rate.

Iran's economic growth rate should be increased to 5 percent from currently minus 1 to help resolve many economic problems, the Fars News Agency quoted Tehran Chamber of Commerce director Yahya Al-e Es'haq as saying on Tuesday.

"We are facing challenges, such as high inflation and unemployment rates. Such problems should be addressed," he noted.

If the economic growth rate reaches 5-6 percent, all the challenges will be turned into opportunities, he said.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund said on April 16 that Iran's economy contracted by 1.9 percent in 2012 and is expected to shrink by 1.3 percent this year as it reels from the impact of Western sanctions.

The economy of the Islamic republic is, however, forecast to grow next year by 1.1 percent, the IMF said in its annual World Economic Outlook.

The IMF said the "macroeconomic environment is likely to remain difficult, given the sharp depreciation of the currency and adverse external conditions, which would sustain inflation at relatively high levels."

A Western ban on Iranian oil exports, which came into effect in July, hit the country's economy badly.

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