0210 GMT July 22, 2019
All countries pursue certain goals in foreign investments; whereas they have to meet more or less similar prerequisites in foreign trade.
These requirements include the level of security in target countries, capital return and the profitability of the projects.
As a suitable investment destination, currently, Iran fulfills all the abovementioned requisites. It is a lucrative market for foreign investors.
The country enjoys favorable infrastructures in transportation, oil, gas, petrochemical, housing, construction, mining and industrial sectors, that are fully prepared for the flow of foreign funds.
A large number of foreign delegations have visited the country in the past few months, have put forward investment requests to Iranian officials and even signed a number of contracts. This is while, some of the visiting foreign economic teams have postponed deals to the post-sanctions era. These countries are awaiting the removal of Western embargoes to begin cooperation in Iranian projects at once. They have prepared the grounds for the deals in advance.
Iran has also defined a number of criteria to select trade partners prioritizing the countries which make the maximum contribution to achieving the national objectives. Some of these goals are absorbing funds, receiving guarantees on purchase of export items, establishing long-term partnership, transferring modern technologies and enhancing joint cooperation.
Iran definitely does not seek to turn into an importer of consumer goods or sell its products at exorbitant prices. The country intends to raise the competitiveness of domestic products in international markets, increase the number of joint projects and procure adequate funds for implementing projects.
Asian and European trade teams constitute the major portion of visiting delegations. Among Asian partners, South Korea and Japan are top priorities. The two developed East Asian states have contributed significantly to Iranian oil and gas projects since the tightening of the sanctions. The determination of Seoul and Tokyo not to lag behind others in gaining a firm foothold in Iran's market indicates the importance of the domestic market to Asian countries.
Iran has a trained and well-educated workforce which further lures foreign investors to greater participation in the country's joint ventures.
On Saturday, a visiting South Korean delegation voiced interest in increasing imports of oil and gas and investments in Iran's gas, petrochemical and transportation sectors. Iran and South Korea have long had effective and close collaboration. Currently, the ground is prepared for the companies of both countries to further develop economic and technological ties.
To make maximum use of the current favorable circumstance, the Iranian government is required to identify its high priority projects and present them to foreign partners to accelerate the flow of funds once the sanctions are removed.
To achieve this, the Rouhani administration has to accelerate privatization of economic sectors and activities and improve supervision over domestic projects to give more elbow room to private firms and agencies in negotiations with foreign counterparts. This will enable the companies to purchase the technologies which they were deprived of during the sanctions.