Since his accession to power three years ago Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has become a master debt manager, ridding the country of $36 billion in outstanding foreign debt, reported IRNA. President Khatami has also filled Iranian government coffers with a $10 billion surplus. Regardless of a 16 percent unemployment rate, Iran has a promising future — if only oil prices do not buck the $30 per barrel trend.
President Khatami has shaken the once powerful US-Israeli stranglehold on regional politics by normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC member states. Economist Abdul-Hossein Sassan, in an address to a seminar in Ishafan, is quoted as saying that “Khatami’s strategy of détente revived the shattered OPEC and led to Iran-Saudi normalization of relations.”
The transformation of Iran beyond the once upon a time pariah nation, as well as the consolidation of the OPEC family, created a friendlier market for foreign governments and investors to do business with. Presently, Iran produces 2.4 million barrels of oil per day and has sizable reserves that will continue to attract substantial foreign direct investment.
Foreign direct investment is being propped up by incentives and decreased government interference. Recently, the Iranian parliament passed measures that, if approved by the higher state body during second reading, they will encourage and protect foreign investment in the country and bring in a flood of foreign investors.
Increased foreign direct investment is required to support the 3.6 million young people expected to enter the labor force over the next five years. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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