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Iran qualifies from many respects to be a good location for investment and doing business. it has huge potential for investing after the termination of economic sanctions, Some of the features are highlighted below:
1. Vast domestic market with a population of 80 million growing steadily 2. Young, educated and cheap labor force 3. Excellent strategic geographical position 4. The quick and easy access to neighboring markets with a population of 350 to 400 million 5. Developed and ready infrastructure 6. Cheap and abundant raw materials, energy and transportation 7. The four-season climate and climate variability in the country 8. Fiscal incentives 9. Security and political stability 10. Untapped and consumer market ..
A Bulgarian company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran to develop solar photovoltaic infrastructure in the Iranian central city of Jahrom, Xinhua reported.
“The first investment agreement in the Jahrom Special Economic Zone has been signed with Solar & Benefit Corporation (Bulgarian renewable power developer) to build a photovoltaic power plant,” said Alireza Sahraeian, the governor of Jahrom.
The official did not specify the plant’s capacity or the value of the investment, but said the deal is to meet the electricity demand of a population of 230,000 in Jahrom.
“The agreement is to provide part of the country’s power needs and to boost supply stability in the region through renewable energy resources,” he said.
Jahrom is approximately 200 km off the Persian Gulf coast and 800 km south of the capital Tehran.
Solar & Benefit will be compensated for 20 years at a price of 15.2 euro cents per kilowatt hour. The Bulgarian enterprise operates through its local company Solar & Benefit Persia.
The Sofia-based company plans to develop power projects in Iran with a total output capacity of 400 megawatts in collaboration with Grass Group, a German solar energy EPC contractor.
Iran says it expects a recent agreement with Russia over the creation of a credit line to fund Iranian projects to help promote trade between the two countries.
Iran’s Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Masoud Karbasian said the credit line would be provided by three Russian banks which he said would be led by the country’s Eximbank.
Karbasian added that based on the agreement with Russia, a mechanism would be created to conduct barter deals with Russian traders.
This, he emphasized, would facilitate Iran’s purchases of goods and services from Russian businesses.
In late December, four Iranian banks signed an agreement with the Eximbank of Russia to receive “unlimited” loans.
The banks involved were Bank Sepah, the Export Development Bank of Iran, Parsian Bank and Bank Pasargad.
Based on the agreement, Eximbank would provide funds “without a ceiling” to the four lenders to finance development projects in Iran, according to an announcement on the website of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
Based on the recent agreement signed in Moscow, Iran’s public and private sector’s approved projects will be able to benefit from the loans, while Russian exporters can use them to export technical and engineering services to Iran, the domestic media in Tehran reported.
The agreement has been signed in line with implementing commitments set as part of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22) and the annual budget law and as a result of years-long efforts by the government, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and the central bank to attract foreign finance from various nations.
Iran had earlier been able to seal similar deals with several European as well as Asian financial institutions.
In late September, Austria’s Oberbank signed a major finance deal with over a dozen Iranian banks based on which it would provide €1 billion in credits to the country’s companies that invest in the Iranian economy.
Oberbank’s initiative – that was seen in Tehran as the first of its kind in many years – was followed on the same day by a similar agreement between Denmark’s Danske Bank and several Iranian banks.
Accordingly, Danske Bank would allocate a credit line of €500 million for investments by Danish businesses in Iran.
On a related front, France’s state investment bank Bpifrance (BPI) announced also in September that it planned to provide funds to French companies that invest in the Iranian economy from next year.
BPI France CEO Nicolas Dufourcq was quoted by media as telling reporters that his bank would grant up to €500 million ($598 million) in annual credits to companies that venture into the Iranian market
As Iran is celebrating the second anniversary of the removal of sanctions, figures show the country’s imports have been picking up significantly even though there have been certain changes in the overall pattern of trade.
Figures released by the country’s Customs Administration show China remained Iran’s biggest exporter over a period of nine months starting 21 March 2017 – the start of the Iranian calendar year. It was followed by the UAE through a moderately large margin. Turkey, South Korea and Germany were the next top exporters to Iran albeit at scales lower than that of the UAE and much smaller than China’s.
Figures also showed that imports from Europe specifically saw a significant surge from March to December. However, Iran’s exports to Europe declined over the same period for reasons that remain unknown.
Britain led the surge in EU exports to Iran by recording a whopping rise of 117 percent compared to the same period last year. It was followed by Sweden (107 percent), Belgium (50 percent), Switzerland (39 percent), the Netherlands (37.7 percent), Italy (29.5 percent), and Spain (25 percent).
Among the above countries, the value of exports made by Switzerland, France and Italy were the highest among the rest and stood at $1.47 billion, $1.22 billion and $1.02 billion, respectively. Britain’s exports amount to $0.8 billion.
Figures also show that Russia’s exports to Iran saw a major decline of 54.6 percent over the period under study to stand at around $0.46 billion. Furthermore, US exports to Iran dropped by 43.3 percent to reach $0.1 billion.
The most important goods exported to Iran over the period under study included vehicle parts for semi-knocked down (SKD) projects. The next top imported items were cattle feedstock ($1.11 billion), semi milled rice ($0.98 billion), soy beans ($0.74 billion) and vehicles ($0.65 billion). Iran’s imports of the four categories were higher than last year by 8.3 percent, 86.4 percent, 4.7 percent and 20.8 percent.
Figures released by Iran’s Customs Administration show China also remained Iran’s top export destination from March to December. It was followed by Iraq, the UAE, South Korea, Afghanistan, India and Turkey as the next top importers of Iranian goods.
As Iran’s imports from Europe saw a major rise over the period under study, the country’s exports to East Asia to the same degree went on a huge rise compared to last year. The largest leaps occurred in exports to the Philippines (630 percent), Hong Kong (569 percent), and Malaysia (330 percent).
Exports to several European countries also surged over the period. The highest rise occurred in exports to Slovakia at 960 percent with a total value of $73 million. Other EU top importers were Slovenia, and Switzerland whose imports from Iran were higher than last year by 778 percent and 369 percent with total values of $11 million and $61 million, respectively.
Exports to Qatar – under a strict Saudi-led trade embargo since August – also rose by 97.6 percent with a total value of $0.16 billion.
Iran has brought online its third steel plant which uses domestic technology for production of direct reduced iron (DRI) or sponge iron.
The hot commissioning of Neyriz Steel Complex in the southern Fars province took place Saturday during a ceremony attended by state mines and metals holding company IMIDRO chairman Mehdi Karbasian.
The DRI module has a capacity to produce 800,000 tonnes of sponge iron a year, raising Iran’s nominal capacity to 19.5 million tonnes, he said.
“This is the country’s third sponge iron project using the domestic Iranian DR technology, PERED,” Karbasian said, adding it had been built with 65 percent partnership of the Ghadir Investment Group against 35 percent by IMIDRO.
PERED or Persian Reduction has been invented and patented by Mines and Metals Engineering, an Iranian engineering company registered in Germany.
The technology involves a direct reduction process converting iron oxides, in the form of pellets or lump ore, to highly reduced product suitable for steel making.
Iran opened another DRI module with a capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year in the northwestern city of Miyaneh in August 2017.
The complex is the first part of a three-tier development plan which also includes melting and rolling, with the reduction unit developed by Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters.
Shadegan Steel established Iran’s first sponge iron module using PERED last May, also with a capacity to produce 800,000 tonnes per year. The plant in southwest Iran could meet some of Iraq’s crude steel demand, Karbasian was quoted as saying at the time of its inauguration.
Neyriz Steel is building another plant with the participation and financing of Italy’s Danieli, its managing director Alireza Zahedian said Saturday.
President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Kerman on Monday to open a 2.5 million tonne/year concentrate line and a 1.6 million tonne/year sponge iron module at Golgohar Steel, Karbasian said.
Steel is a strategic commodity for Iran, home to the Middle East’s biggest automotive industry. The country also has a massive oil and gas industry and a sprawling transportation and water supply network with a mammoth construction sector.
Karbasian said on Saturday that demand for steel in the country is currently flat due to a stagnation in its real estate market.
Nevertheless, Iran is the world’s 14th biggest steel producer with 17 million tonnes, which is about to rise to 20 million tonnes. Karbasian also reiterated the country’s target to hit an output plateau of 55 million tonnes per year by 2025.
Iran’s steel exports are expected to hit 8 million tonnes by March, having already exported 6 million tonnes since the start of the Persian year, he added.
Iran’s media are reporting that the country’s risk classification has improved by one notch in a vital sign of improved investment environment.
The English-language Financial Tribune business daily reported that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had upgraded Iran’s rating in the country risk classifications of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (CRE) from 6 to 5.
The country risk classifications of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits are one of the most fundamental building blocks of the arrangement rules on minimum premium rates for credit risk, according to OECD.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with Iran now are Brazil, Azerbaijan and Serbia. Other minor economies that had a similar rating like that of Iran as identified by the OECD are Jordan, Tunisia, Vietnam, Bolivia and Macedonia.
Iran has specifically done better than ambitious regional economies like Argentina, Egypt and Uzbekistan – all with a rating of 6.
“This was indeed a positive signal from the Europeans and a further indication of their interest to continue engaging with Iran within the framework of the nuclear deal,” the Financial Tribune quoted Arash Shahraini, deputy head of Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, as saying in its report.
“The upgrade reduces the cost of attracting foreign finance, and as a result helps us increase our foreign exchange reserves,” he said.
The worst of all in the rating have been crisis points like Yemen, Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela – all rated 7. Surprise poor performers in the same band are Cuba, Pakistan and Belarus.
According to the OECD report, Persian Gulf states like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia have the lowest risk in the region at 2 followed by Qatar that has been rated 3.
The lowest risk of all belongs to the Chinese Taipei with a rating of 1.
The OECD says in its CRE report that no risk classification has been carried out on high income countries as well as those located in the euro zone.
French carmaker PSA Group has invited Iran Khodro (IKCO) to set up a production line for Peugeot cars in Algeria, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports.
PSA executive vice-president for purchasing, Yannick Bézard, on Tuesday visited Tehran-based Iran Khodro which has signed production deals worth 700 million euros with PSA.
Bézard said Iran Khodro can either provide Peugeot with auto parts it needs at its Algeria site or establish a production line in the North African country as a member of the French automaker.
“Iran is a competitive country in terms of energy and human resources, and therefore we will apply all our quality standards in the country,” IRNA quoted him as saying.
Peugeot signed a joint venture with three Algerian partners last November to launch a manufacturing unit building cars for the Algerian market with a total investment of around 100 million euros.
According to the carmaker, a production unit will be fully operational in 2019 with local operations gradually starting from 2018.
Since the lifting of sanctions in January 2016, French automakers have piled into Iran’s resurgent market, helping turn around a period of slipping sales which occurred when they left the country in 2012.
The maker of Peugeots and Citroens announced a joint-venture with Iran Khodro last May for the joint production of 200,000 cars per year in Tehran.
Last month, Iran Khodro opened a production line for two new car models, including one jointly produced with PSA.
The French automaker, however, has yet to start production of the Peugeot 2008 in Iran despite the launch of an assembly line in the country seven months ago.
Back then, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attended a ceremony to mark the production launch of the mini-SUV, in what was branded the first product of post-sanctions manufacturing deals with foreign carmakers.
However, the line has not become operational yet, with Iran Khodro having to import pre-owned cars for delivery to its customers, the Fars news agency reported recently.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is reportedly suing a subsidiary of German stock-exchange operator Deutsche Borse for holding $4.9 billion of Iranian assets.
Deutsche Borse said Friday the CBI had filed a complaint against Clearstream at a court in Luxembourg where the post-trade services provider is based.
Deutsche Borse said Iran’s central bank wants Clearstream and Italian bank Banca UBAE SpA to return its assets plus interest in addition to damages worth the same amount.
The assets sought reportedly include about $1.9 billion which Clearstream has turned over to the US to “compensate” around 1,000 Americans claiming damage from Iran over a 1983 bombing in Beirut and another attack in 1996 in Saudi Arabia.
The CBI further seeks around $2 billion in customer assets which are held at Clearstream and are subject to similar appropriation in the US and Luxembourg.
The US Supreme Court ruled in April 2016 that about $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in the Lebanese capital and other attacks which Iran has long rejected any role in.
After the US court ruling, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran had filed a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) demanding compensation over the seizures.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the seizure of Iran’s frozen assets as “highway robbery,” saying the Islamic Republic will retrieve them anyway.
“It is a theft. Huge theft. It is highway robbery. And believe you me, we will get it back,” he has said.
Iranian officials have also lashed out at the US justice, saying it was the same system which in March 2016 held Iran liable for damages in the 9/11 terror attacks, ordering Tehran to pay $11 billion in compensation to the families of the attack victims.
“These cases cannot stand in any serious civilized court of law. When a US court condemns Iran for 9/11, it finishes the credibility of the US justice system when it comes to Iran,” Zarif has said.
State officials and international observers have said the US is setting a bad precedent with such rulings since people can legislate in other countries to confiscate American assets. They have cited US crimes committed against Iranians, Vietnamese, the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and many others.
“Can they legislate in their own countries that for every collateral damage suffered because of American bombing, for every person who was tortured by the Savak, which was created by the United States, those people can claim money from the United States and go confiscate it? Would you be willing to accept it?” Zarif said.
Savak was the intelligence service of the deposed Shah’s regime in Iran, which was a close ally of the United States.
Franco-Italian planemaker ATR says it hopes to weather the storm from a new deterioration in US relations with Iran, which could affect business with Tehran.
The turboprop manufacturer has a deal with flag carrier Iran Air for the delivery of 20 ATR 72-600 passenger planes. ATR delivered eight aircraft in 2017 and plans to deliver a further 12 by the end of this year.
Iran Air’s deal with ATR includes options for a further 20 aircraft and a training program for Iranian pilots and engineers.
The deal was struck following a 2016 nuclear agreement with Iran, which US President Donald Trump is refusing to implement and has threatened to wreck all together.
The US administration has also imposed new sanctions on Iran in violation of the nuclear agreement, which have jeopardized deals with Tehran but ATR CEO Christian Scherer hoped they would not hinder his company’s business with the Islamic Republic.
The 70-seat ATR planes are aimed at underserved local economies, used in flights over a maximum distance of 1,528 kilometers. Iran is operating them to revitalize domestic routes, covering a populous crescent straddling Iran’s northwest and northeast.
“This regional development is very powerful for them and it’s frankly very benign from a geopolitical and security aspect,” Scherer was quoted as saying.
“So we are hopeful at ATR that our business opportunities with the Iranians will go unchallenged,” he added.
Iran is also renovating its aging fleet for international or long-distance flights under deals signed with Airbus and Boeing to buy a total of 180 passenger jets.
The country has received three Airbus jets in 2017 – one Airbus A321 and two Airbus A33 – and was due to get another by year-end which did not come through. The first Boeing is due around May 2018.
The deal with Boeing, signed last December, is for the purchase of 80 passenger planes. In January 2017, Iran Air also signed agreements to buy 118 planes from Airbus, before cutting the number to around 100.
Given the type of the orders, the total value of the three contracts for the purchase of 200 aircraft from Airbus, Boeing and ATR is less than $18 billion.
Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, will resume production of cars in Iran from the beginning of the new Persian year in March, ISNA news agency has reported.
The company is about to produce 2,500 middle of the pack E-class cars in the year, with 20% of the production to be done inside Iran and the rest supplied to the country in the form of CKD (completely knocked down) kits.
Mercedes-Benz has a long track record in Iran with a business dating back to the 1950s, where it sold up to 10,000 vehicles a year. However, the company stopped business in Iran after the US and Europeans intensified sanctions on the country in 2012.
According to ISNA, the production line for Mercedes cars in Iran is currently being updated and prepared for resuming assembly.
The contract goes back to January 2016 when Daimler signed letters of intent with local partners Iran Khodro Diesel and Mammut Group to arrange a “comprehensive re-entry” into Iran.
In September, Mercedes-Benz signed a contract with Iran Khodro to resume distribution of its trucks in the country. The deal included creating a joint venture to provide sales and after-sale services in the Islamic Republic.
Daimler has also indicated interest to return as a shareholder in the former engine joint venture Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing Co (IDEM) based in Tabriz to build diesel engines.
Other German automaker Volkswagen started exporting cars to Iran in August after signing an agreement with Mammut Khodro for sales of VW brand models Tiguan and Passat.
Iran is an extremely attractive market for international automakers. Since the lifting of sanctions on the country in early 2016, French carmakers PSA and Renault have pushed hard to regain lost ground after leaving the country when sanctions were imposed.
On Tuesday, Peugeot said its global sales jumped by 15% last year on strong growth in Iran where the company sold 444,600 vehicles.
Fars news agency meanwhile cited data released by Renault as showing year-on-year growth of 54% in sales to Iran where the automaker sold 144,862 cars in the year up to November.
However, both Renault and Peugeot as well as other European automakers withdrew from Iran in 2012 when the country came under the Western sanctions.
US President Donald Trump’s ultimatum to Congress and Europe to toughen a nuclear agreement with Iran has raised fresh questions about whether European countries would hold their ground.
A top Iranian trader says the country’s private sector plans to buy a certain volume of shares of a Chinese bank in a move that could help facilitate mutual trade payments that have lately become complicated as a result of Beijing’s implementation of strict regulations.
Assadollah Asgaroladi, the head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce, was quoted by media as saying that China’s central bank had given the required authorization for the purchase of shares of the country’s banks by Iranian businesses.
However, he emphasized that the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) also needed to take a similar measure to make the initiative official, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
Asgaroladi said that Iranian businesses under China’s laws can purchase only 10 percent of the shares of the country’s banks, adding that they have already taken certain preliminary steps toward their planned purchase.
He said the CBI was yet to arrive at a final resolution over the issue, but emphasized that chances were high the go-ahead for the move would be eventually given.
On a related front, Mehr News Agency quoted an unnamed Iranian official as saying that the value of the planned investment of Iranian businesses in China’s banks stood at below $100 million.
Last June, Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) announced that it had halted exports to China because the country’s banks were refusing to process the due payments. The NPC said the problem was related to domestic regulations against money laundering that had come into effect since May 2017.
This followed an earlier report in an Iranian daily last February that the Islamic Republic had at least $18 billion still blocked in banks in Beijing in what appeared to be a result of complications that were preventing the settlement of previous oil sales to China.
Iran has announced an increase of 13 percent in truck transit activities through its territory in what could be a sign of the significance of the country’s location in regional trade.
Iran’s Customs Administration in a statement said about 542,000 trucks had crossed the country’s border checkpoints points over a period of nine months starting 21 March 2017 – the start of the Iranian calendar year.
The figure, the statement added, was higher than the similar period last year by 13 percent.
The trucks were carrying goods belonging to over 100 countries, the Customs Administration added in its statement as reported by Iran’s domestic media.
It added that the volume of cargos transited through the Iranian territory over the same period had also increased by 13 percent in weight to reach as high as 8.2 million tonnes.
In September, Iran announced a surprise rise of around 24 percent in transit of goods through its territories over a period of five months starting 21 March 2017.
Figures released by Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (IRMTO) showed that above 4.17 million tonnes of goods had been moved through 32 active land and maritime borders over the period.
The IRMTO further added in a statement as reported by Iran’s media that Shaheed Rajaei Port in the southern city of Bandar Abbas remained Iran’s most important port through which 35 percent of the country’s total trade activities had taken place.
The next key transit points were Parviz Khan and Bazargan checkpoints that respectively open to Iraq’s Kurdistan region and Turkey’s east.
The bulk of goods transported through border points included non-oil products such as fuel oil, textiles, auto parts and food products at a total volume of 2.78 million tonnes.
Iran says credit line with Russia to boost trade Iran’s Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Masoud Karbasian. Iran says it expects a recent agreement with Russia over the creation of a credit line to fund Iranian projects to help promote trade between the two countries. Iran’s Minister of Economy…
Iran huge rise in imports from Europe Iran has reported a major rise in imports from several key European countries over a period of nine months starting 21 March 2017. As Iran is celebrating the second anniversary of the removal of sanctions, figures show the country’s imports have been picking…
Iran opens third DRI steel mill using domestic technology Neyriz Steel Complex at the time of commissioning. Iran has brought online its third steel plant which uses domestic technology for production of direct reduced iron (DRI) or sponge iron. The hot commissioning of Neyriz Steel Complex in the southern Fars…
With better risk rating, Iran now stands next to Brazil The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has improved Iran’s risk rating by one notch. Iran’s media are reporting that the country’s risk classification has improved by one notch in a vital sign of improved investment environment. The English-language…
PSA invites Iran Khodro to produce Peugeots in Algeria Iran Khodro logo French carmaker PSA Group has invited Iran Khodro (IKCO) to set up a production line for Peugeot cars in Algeria, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports. PSA executive vice-president for purchasing, Yannick Bézard, on Tuesday visited Tehran-based…
Iran sues Deutsche Borse subsidiary for holding $4.9 billion of assets The file photo shows the office of Clearstream in Kirchberg, Luxembourg, which facilitates international exchanges of securities. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is reportedly suing a subsidiary of German stock-exchange operator Deutsche Borse for holding $4.9 billion of…
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