The feasible investment opportunities in Iran could be categorized in five major groups. Group one includes investments based on Iran’s natural resources namely oil, gas and the minerals and related industries like petrochemicals, steel, copper, etc.
Group two includes the sectors related to the country’s geographical and geopolitical situation. Iran is on a crossroad which is the most economical way to connect Middle East, Asia, CIS region and Europe. On the other hand, Iran by itself is a vast country. So, investment in all means of transportation including road, railway, air and sea as well as the related logistics could be attractive for investment.
Group three includes other sectors based on our history, culture and climatic situation. On top of them remains tourism which has been famously known to many citizens of the world and the visitors entering Iran every year. The related services to tourism are also highly precious for investment. Besides that, food sector and related industries are also feasible investment grounds available in Iran.
Group four is based on Iran’s human merits and resources. Iran has the highest proportion of engineers to its population in the world; even higher than the United States and other developed countries. Iran has a mass of young talented and educated workforce in Iran. Technology-based industries like IT and pharmaceutical are some attractive sectors for further investment in the future. Start-ups are blooming in Iran. An enormous number of start-ups from Iran participated Berlin iBridge 2015. The number was higher than any other countries participated in the event. The nature of investment in Iran is changing rapidly to e-businesses.
Group five is based on consumer items and market. Iran has a population of almost 80 million. With its immediate neighbors, the country is a 300-million market. So consumer items, automotive products, etc are attractive investment areas in Iran.
Iran, of course, has some problems in terms of investment regulations but things are improving. The country has had tax reforms. Iran’s Direct Taxation Act has been amended and ratified by the parliament. VAT tax has also undergone some amendments by the government and the bill is soon ready to be submitted to the parliament. The bill for amending our customs law has also been submitted to the parliament. So the legal and regulatory environment of Iran is transforming towards a more hospitable atmosphere for business.
The number of all active business permits and licenses in Iran tops 2,200 which is a great number. The private sector is keenly working with the government in order to improve the business environment.
I don’t want to show a rosy garden from the business environment in Iran. The problem with transparency is a top priority for any reform agenda in the country. The banking system should also undergo a major re-structuring. There is a shortage of finance for new businesses in Iran and that’s why the atmosphere in the country is becoming rapidly ready to absorb new investments.