Nine Investment Opportunities In Iran
No doubt there is a need to change attitudes to doing business with Iran, given the huge potential for win-win opportunities. Iran needs technology transfer and management, and since the ‘Law for the Continuous Improvement of Business Environment’ was enforced, Iran’s legal framework is more friendly, providing even more room for the private sector and entrepreneurship to grow.
1- Health: There are huge potentials for investment in health infrastructures; Iranian doctors are among the best in the world and dentistry is highly advanced, granting Iran the firm potential to become a medical tourism destination.
Also, Iran’s interest in nanotechnology and biotechnology has prompted the establishment of a variety of specialized care facilities, including institutions focused on optometry and organ transplants.
2- ICT: The Iranian ICT sector is set for exponential growth thanks to its unique combination of demographic and economic variables. A major engine of this growth is undoubtedly Iran’s population, which is large, young, and quick to pick up new technologies. Of Iran’s 73 million citizens, 70% are under 30 and 80% are literate.
Iran’s mobile phone penetration is 129%, representing the fact that many Iranians have more than one phone or subscriber identity module (SIM); however, the number of smart phones on the market remains relatively low. There are an astounding 23 million internet users in Iran, but only 2 million have access to broadband. In terms of revenue, it is the fourth most lucrative market, in the region of $9.2 billion. Its estimated growth rate of 6%- 7% per annum puts it among the top-five countries in the world.
3. Oil, gas and petrochemical industries. It is true that these opportunities come at a sensitive time for energy investment, but the West can now provide equipment and technology in Iran’s energy sector, this being perhaps one of the main foreign investment opportunities.
4. Renewable Energies. Iran ranked twelfth in the world in renewable energy production and already has 100 MW of wind power, several solar photovoltaic plant and a solar thermal plant. Iranian research in this sector is one of the most active in the world, but they need more technology to achieve their ultimate goal in this sector: becoming the main exporter of electricity in the Middle East.
5. Railways. Iranian authorities see that a north-south railway axis Iran-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan at full capacity would place Iran as a strategic destination Caspian-East. These same authorities also show interest in technical and financial services in the expansion and modernization of their currently decrepit rail network.
6. Automobiles. The demand for cars and mechanical parts is latent in a country where the price of fuel is around 20 cents a litre. Annual registrations are around 1.2 million, and experts predict will increase to over two million.
7. Banking. Especially significant will be the implementation of the Swift code (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) which will make transfers possible, and will give foreign investors more confidence in the Iranian financial system.
8. Agriculture. Iran seeks to invest in irrigation systems and greenhouses. It also yearns to boost its exports with an improvement in agricultural machinery. Worth noting is the major food demand from Russia after the veto to Turkey, whom Iran seeks to replace, and in fact they are succeeding in the supply of fruits and vegetables.
9. Mining. The lifting of sanctions opens for sales of extraction equipment of all sorts of minerals including coal, copper, lead, iron, crude steel, manganese, gypsum, and chemicals such as scandium, yttrium, lanthanum or cerium, essential for aerospace, glass and electronics.