Iran continues charm offensive to woo Asian investors
The central bank governor's visit to Asia highlights Iran's efforts to get over a raft of banking problems which have hampered the country's trade normalization with the world. (File photo)
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Iran’s central bank governor has appealed to Asian investors to jump on “unprecedented opportunities” created after the lifting of sanctions on the country.
Valiollah Seif met businessmen from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia in the capital of Singapore on Wednesday to outline Iran’s plans for growth and development.
"The lifting of sanctions has created unprecedented opportunities for investors," Seif told the private seminar of businessmen from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia.
He touted Iran’s massive capacities, including its biggest reserves of oil and gas combined. The country has the world's biggest gas reserves and the third largest oil reserves.
Outside oil and gas, Iran’s petrochemicals, steel, copper mining, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, aviation, machinery, tourism, infrastructure and information and communication technology are some of the fields which offer enormous opportunities, he said.
Iran's gross domestic product is on course to grow 5.0 percent this year and next, up from 3.0 percent over the past two years, according to Seif.
The central bank governor's visit to Asia highlights Iran's efforts to get over a raft of banking problems which have hampered the country's trade normalization with the world.
Months after nuclear sanctions on Iran were supposed to end, Iran’s banking transactions worldwide are facing problems as foreign banks shy away from processing transfers to the country.
Tehran says confusing signals from Washington have made Western banks jittery about dealings with the Islamic Republic due to fears of being punished by the American government.
Iran is one of the 20 largest economies in the world on a purchasing power parity basis at $450 billion, with a young and highly-educated population of over 80 million.
Among Asian leaders, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran in January and South Korean President Park Geun-hye in May.
With South Korea, the country signed a number of agreements in the fields of oil and gas, railroads, tourism, and technology when President Park visited Tehran with representatives of 236 companies and organizations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also plans to visit the Islamic Republic, according to Tokyo-based media, but no date has been set for the trip. Iran and Japan signed an investment pact in February that spells out protection of companies and investment assets.
Meanwhile, executives of 21 companies visited Iran along with Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Daishiro Yamagiwa in August.
Last month, Iran and Australia signed several agreements to forge closer ties when Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo visted Tehran, announcing the dawn of a new age of relationship.
Ciobo led a trade delegation of more than 20 companies, seeking out opportunities in Iran's mining, oil and gas, and other industries.
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