As reported by the Department of Public Relations, Organization for Investment, Economic and technical Assistance of Iran, Alishiri who was at the Tehran Chamber of Commerce for the second time, presented a report on the trend for attraction and absorption of foreign investment and in cooperation with his colleagues, explained what has been done in his respective organization and elaborated on the opportunities made available to the economic activists.
Deputy Minister of Economy, talking about the existing economic environment and the great transformation of Iran, addressing the board of representatives of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, said: It goes without saying that you, economic activists and challengers, more than anybody else feel this transformation. Targeting subsidies, implementation of Article 44 of Constitution, reviewing and revising the banking, financial and customs rules and regulations, each, make a part of this portion of transformation.
The President of Organization for Investment, Economic and technical Assistance of Iran continued: there are three salient features in this great transformation which should move forward side by side and concurrently, the first of which is to introduce extensive changes in the role players on the economic stage, that is; our move should be from state-centered economy toward giving the center of economy to the private and cooperative sectors. It will be impossible to make that transformation happen without modifying the rules and regulations. So the second salient feature of this arena will be quick changes and transformation in the laws and rules.
Alishiri pointed out: I believe, due to the fact that the government has taken charge of economy, the private sector couldn’t grow up fully and is often watching, something that I criticize too, since in this time of transformation, the role of private sector is of overarching importance and needs to take a more prominent role.
As the third important feature in the transformation period of Iran’s economy, he referred to the side factors, i.e. transforming these changes into norms and values in society, saying: once the objectives of this period turn into social norms and values, we can expect them to actualize and be performed.
The President of Organization for Investment, Economic and technical Assistance of Iran also touched upon the role of his respective organization in the pivotal metamorphosis and deep endeavor, requesting private sector cooperation in this important issue.
Yahya Al-e- Eshagh, the head of Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines of Tehran, referring to the fact that the government can have positive interactions with the private sector to guarantee implementation of the law on targeting subsidies, expressed hope that the law on targeting subsidies be implemented in the shortest of time, least cost and best advantages. He, on behalf of economic activists, pronounced readiness to cooperate with the government for a better implementation of this law.
The Head of Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines of Tehran, in another part of his speech made a quick reference to the fifth development plan, saying: in this plan some appropriate platforms for the presence of private sector and chambers of commerce have been created. He stipulated that in the plan, the major proposals and requests of private sector and chamber of commerce, especially in commerce and trade fields have been taken care of.
As he said, the proposals of Council of Competition and private sector for amending the rules and laws are useful and expressed hope that they bear positive results in practice. Al-e Eshagh also talked about disclosure of the rules prevailing the annual budget of 1390, recently released by the presidency deputy, and said: the private sector hopes the budget to be practically in line with the upstream documents of the system and the fifth development plan, Article 44 and Outlook goals are seen in this budget.
The head of Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines of Tehran, continued: as reported by the authorities, the annual budget of 1390, in the costs portion is contradictory and in the development portion is expansionary, which raises hope. Al-e-Eshagh at the end of his speech, as always announced: Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines of Tehran, is the agile and faithful partner of the government and with regard to the special conditions that the country is tackling with, up to the end of the current year, concerning international issues, the law on targeting subsidies and its confusion, next year’s annual budget, Tehran Chamber of Commerce and economic activists will collaborate with the government in this route.
Drawing up Foreign Trade Road Map
The meeting continued by the speeches made by the directors of bureaus of the Organization for Investment, Economic and technical Assistance of Iran to talk about the fields under their management and duties.
Sadegh Akbari, Director General for Foreign Economic Relations was the first person who introduced his office as the deputy of international affairs of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
Akbari just mentioned the topics of the tasks of his office and said: all economies of the world rely on their private sector . Even the economies which have a state approach have frequently and clearly acknowledged that they are moving towards private sector. Some widespread changes and transformation in the trade and economy of the world is being formed and in order that we can keep our role in the international system should carry out major economic changes, which is the Economic Transformation Plan.
Akbari added: If the economy overcome its chronic illness will be able to advance and enhance quickly and we hope the private sector to get involved in this issue and help the government.
Director General for Foreign Economic Relations also pointed out: to move forward with the foreign trade we need the private and public sectors to draw up a road map to move in that direction and remove the barriers.
Akbari noted that both Iran and Tehran Chambers of Commerce are able to consolidate and manage the capacities of the private sector and in addition to the integrated information collected by the government and Organization for Investment, Economic and technical Assistance of Iran it will be possible to form joint working groups to deal with the issues.
Sadegh Akbari concluded by insisting on his proposal regarding drawing up a road map for the foreign trade by the private and public sectors and saw it as obstacle removing for progress and improvement in this field.
Behrouz Alishiri completed Akbari by saying: There are some serious opportunities available now to push forward the foreign trade, one of them is Joint Trade Commission, which we already have successful experiences with India and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also said: the capacity of Organization for Investment, Economic and technical Assistance of Iran in international institutions such as the World Bank, OPEC Fund and Islamic Development Bank can be helpful to us because we will not be worried about providing financial facilities by the government and if the projects are approved by these institutions, they will be financed. He also reiterated and endorsed what the Director General for Foreign Economic Affairs on diversifying the presence of private sector and the necessity for the managing and directing it by the Iran and Tehran chambers of commerce said.
More than 2.5 Billion Dollars Finance
Acting Director for the Office of Loans, International Organizations and Institutions was the next speaker of the 42nd meeting of the board of representatives of Tehran Chamber of Commerce who regarded this office as one of three specialized bureaus in the Organization and briefly talked about the performance, assigned tasks and duties and future programs of the office.
Sharagim Shams stated: we are a major member of the Islamic development Bank and also have a constant and active participation in the World Bank, the issues related to both is done through our organization. we may finance through foreign commercial banks and institutions and are able , with the cooperation of private sector, to provide financial facilities up to 5 billion dollars from these institutions and bodies.
Shams continued by presenting some brief explanation on the procedure for creation and objectives of Islamic Development Bank, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Islamic corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC). He requested the private sector of the country to take action for enjoying the trade and project facilities of IDB and its affiliated institutions.
Shams continued: Islamic Development Bank was established on October 20, 1975 with the primary capital of 755 Islamic Dinar by 22 countries, Iran was not among them in that time. ITFC was established with the primary capital of 3 billion Dollars and has opened credit lines for some Iranian banks such as: Melli, Industry and Mine, Export Development, Parsian and Karafarin. Recently the Agriculture and mellat were added to the list as well.
Shams added: ICIEC, affiliated to IDB, was created in 1994 aiming at strengthening economic ties among the countries and offering investment insurance.
Improvement in Doing Business Indicators, with the cooperation of private sector
Saman Ghasemi, director general for Foreign Investments explained his field of activity and talked about the assistance and facilities which have been made available to the domestic and foreign investors.
He referred to opening 30 offices in all 30 provinces of the country to expedite the affairs and introduced a so called Single Window software, which will be inaugurated soon to prevent unnecessary frequent physical visits of the investors and follow up on their matters through this software. Ghasemi added: these measures are to improve doing business in the country, the base of which is the private sector, and we have rather accomplished in improving this indicator with the help of private sector.
Director General for Foreign Investments continued: the issue of foreign investment is often a matter of interest and relevant to the private sector, so we expect to see a more active private sector in this field. He concluded by presenting the address of investment opportunities website at: www.iio.ir
Behrouz Alishiri completed Ghasemi by saying: as the people who are active in economic affairs, you know that for making an improvement in economic ranking indicators, months of effort are needed, and, fortunately with the assistance of private sector, we could enhance Doing Business indicator from 142 to 129 in the course of last two years.
All the Foreign Investment Affairs in the same center
Aboulfazl Koudeiee, the head of Foreign Investment Services Center was the next speaker who announced foreign investment attraction to be one of the main priorities of the government, saying: there was need to create necessary bodies for actualization of foreign investment attraction, one of them is this Foreign Investment Services center.
Koudeiee said: there are 10 liaison representatives from 10 ministries and relevant organs, stationed in the Center, for the approval and issuance of the licenses and all the foreign investment affairs are done in the center.
Aboulfazl Koudeiee also talked about coordination in visa issuance and emphasized on reducing bureaucracy for attracting foreign investors.
Six specialized websites provide advisory services in 3 international languages
Advisor to the president of organization who is also person in charge for IT and statistics was the next who took the floor. Jahanbakhsh Mohammadi, briefly talked about the websites of the Organization and information available on them.
He introduced 6 websites as:
- The main website of the Organization: www.investiniran.ir
- Doing business environment in Iran: www.doingbusinessiniran.ir
- Developmental Assistance Fund of Iran: www.ifid.ir
- Non- resident Iranians: www.itetc.ir
- Investment opportunities: www.iio.ir
- Virtual training of the Organization: www.learning.ifid.ir
He noted that in addition to introducing investment opportunities of the country, news, reports, consultation, questions and answers and so on are available at the website. He added: a set of information on foreign companies, interested in investment and trade is accessible at the website and the forums and foreign exhibits and fairs are also shown there.