Iran’s Forex Center develops protocol to transfer foreign investment

Business Materials 5 June 2013 12:24 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jun.5/ Trend F.Karimov/

Iran is developing a protocol based on which the Central Bank of Iran will take measures to transact foreign investment through the Forex Center, IRNA quoted Iranian Deputy Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Behrouz Alishiri as saying.

He referred to the rise in the foreign currency exchange rates, saying that the issue has been the main reason which has encouraged foreign entities to invest in the country.

The Tehran Forex center was officially inaugurated on September 24, 2012. It allows importers of goods to buy dollars at a rate of 2 percent cheaper than the street rate at any given time.

Meanwhile, the government maintains an official reference rate of 12,260 rials to the dollar.

On May 31, Alishiri said Iran absorbed $4.850 billion dollars of foreign investment in the previous calendar year which ended on March 20.

The amount of foreign investment in Iran reached its peak in the previous calendar year, the IRNA News agency quoted Alishiri as saying.

Iran had absorbed $4.6 billion dollars of foreign investment in 2011, he added.

Alishiri had previously said that Iran needs around $1.3 trillion to materialise objectives of its fifth five-year economic development plan.

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

Some $7 billion worth of foreign investment plans have been approved in the current year he said, adding that foreign investments in Iran have grown by 150 percent during the past four years.

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

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.