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screwball last won the day on October 2 2016

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  1. Iranian Rial

    By Mahnaz Abdi Foreign finance a post-sanction necessity? Economy September 20, 2017 The implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal in January 2016 lifted a majority of sanctions against the country. Among the most important removed sanctions were those on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the oil industry, shipping lines and commercial aviation industry. The implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal in January 2016 lifted a majority of sanctions against the country. Among the most important removed sanctions were those on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the oil industry, shipping lines and commercial aviation industry. A month later, the global transaction network SWIFT said it had reconnected a number of Iranian banks to its system and according to the CBI officials, 29 Iranian banks are now connected to SWIFT, though some problems are still in place. President Hassan Rouhani has reiterated that the post-sanction economy needs foreign investment and the government plans to attract $65 billion of foreign investment by the end of the Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (March 2021), of which $30 billion is about to come in finance, $20 billion in economic partnership and $15 billion in direct investment. While the barriers for banking transactions with Iran remain the main issue, some countries have opened credit lines for the Islamic Republic in the post-sanction era. The last one was opened by China. China’s CITIC Trust signed a 10-billion-dollar deal with five Iranian banks on September 15 to fund development and production projects in Iran. Before that, on August 25, South Korea’s Eximbank signed a deal with the Iranian banks to secure an €8-billion ($9.4-billion) credit line to finance various projects in Iran. It was Iran’s biggest loan deal since its nuclear accord. Such deals, according to CBI Governor Valiollah Seif, are a sign of return of global trust in Iran’s banking system. However, the question is that whether foreign finance is a necessity for the post-sanction economy? A credit for the country Afsaneh Lak-Tabriz, director of the international finance department of CBI, is of the opinion that receiving finance is considered as a credit for every country, because it means that the country enjoys enough reliability to receive it. “Receiving finance is a positive point for the country, but management of using it is our own responsibility, in a way that we use it based on our requirements and with true anticipation of the repayment,” she told the Tehran Times in a telephone interview on Monday. Providing a ground to secure financial resources for implementation of production, infrastructure and development projects in the country is a good action, she noted. Higher foreign debt But, some economists and officials believe that using finance will increase the external foreign debt. They say the possible disability to repay the loans on time will bring some negative economic and even political results for the country. In a condition when the government faces a mass of unfinished projects, using finance for some projects that may not be finished by the end of the repayment schedule means that the government should repay the installments through its sources not the projects income which is a loss for its budget. Oil income prioritized Mehdi Taqavi, a leading economist, told the Tehran Times in a telephone interview on Saturday: “While repayment time is the most important matter when securing these loans, given the 1.5-fold increase in Iran’s oil exports after the sanctions it’s better that we use oil income rather than secure these foreign loans.” No hurry for finance In a TV program on Saturday, Hossein Abdoh-Tabrizi, a top economic advisor to the transport minister, said: “The money we receive from the foreigners is better to be in the form of investment and we should not be in a hurry for finance.” In the same program, Morteza Allahdad, another economist and a former advisor to the finance minister, said the government has moved toward foreign finance under the condition when the ground is not still prepared for credit lines and foreign investment. Better banking a prerequisite Mehdi Pourqazi, the chairman of Industry and Mine Committee of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), believes that securing foreign finances is a good and positive movement, but these finances will be used mainly for the governmental projects not the private sector ones. In addition, receiving these finances requires improvement of our banking relations on one side and attracting trust of the foreign companies to business in Iran on the other side. Foreign banks line up Foreign finance to open the capital floodgates for Iran or create unnecessary foreign debts for the government, the CBI government has said on Sunday that foreign banks are in a line to sign finance deals with Iran, announcing that several credit lines are expected to be opened for the country in near future. He had previously announced that three European countries including Austria, Denmark and Italy are set to open €22 billion credit lines for financing projects in Iran which in addition to the €8-billion credit line to be secured by South Korea’s Eximbank the total value of loan deals will reach €30 billion after Iran’s nuclear accord.
  2. Iranian Rial

    Iranian, Croatian banks seek to ease transactions Economy September 20, 2017 TERHAN- An Iranian banking delegation visiting Croatia investigated removal of banking impediments between the two countries to ease mutual trade with their Croatian counterparts, the portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) reported on Wednesday. The Iranian delegation including representatives from Iranian banks of Sepah, Pasargad, and Bank of Industry and Mine visited Božo Prka, the CEO of Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ), where the Croatian banking official referred to the common banking ties between the two countries before the West-led sanctions were imposed on Iran, hoping that such relations would be resumed in post-sanction era. Iranian bankers, for their parts, suggested establishment of banking relations in the first step to revive banking ties and assured the Croatian side that Iran sees no legal barrier on the way of boosting its banking bonds with Croatia, but the main obstacle is European banks' reliance on the American ones that avoids them from commencing ties with Iranian banks.
  3. Iranian Rial

    By: Ebrahim Fallahi A scenario: Iran’s economy in the absence of nuclear deal Economy September 20, 2017 In his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump called the nuclear deal with Iran “an embarrassment to the United States” that should be revisited. The nuclear deal, officially called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA), has been subject to threat since Donald Trump became the U.S. president in January. He has stated repeatedly that the agreement should be renegotiated or even called off, however getting no support from other signatories -China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the European Union – he has not been able to act on his words so far. Trump’s recent remarks at the general assembly have raised new doubts about U.S. sticking to the accord more than ever. Now the question is what will happen if Trump blows the nuclear deal, and what will be the consequences for Iran’s economy. Effects on Iran’s banking relations There are already some U.S. sanctions remained in place, most of which are affecting the country’s open banking relations with foreign trade partners. Many international banks are already banned from or are cautious of direct involvement with Iran. By repeatedly disapproving the nuclear accord, Trump has already spread a sense of uncertainty about Iran’s economy making it harder for international banks to have direct communication with Iranian banking system; so even if U.S. won’t comply with the nuclear deal, Iran’s banking situation will not change drastically. However, regardless of all that has been said, a look at the changes in Iran’s position among the world economies indicates that Iran’s market with its great potentials has been too attractive to resist for many foreign investors. Despite U.S. sanctions, foreign companies and business delegations have been flocking to Iran seizing opportunities to clinch deals in different areas. Although banking relations and financial issues have posed barriers in the way of trade with Iran’s economic partners, foreign companies are taking different measures to maintain trade with the Islamic Republic. Earlier this month, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Valiollah Seif announced that Iran expects several credit lines to be opened for the country in near future. The governor’s remarks came after China Development Bank (CDB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CBI for opening a €15-billion credit line to fund a wide range of infrastructure and production projects in the country. Iran has earlier secured a $10-billion credit line from the Chinese state-owned CITIC investment company to be allocated to several banks in Iran. The Chinese credit lines will use Euros and Yuan to bypass the U.S. sanctions. Seif said in August that three European countries including Austria, Denmark and Italy are also set to open €22 billion credit lines for financing projects in Iran which should be added to the €8-billion credit line secured by South Korea’s Eximbank. Agreements and deals The implementation of the nuclear deal in January 2016 led to the removal of sanctions against Iran, allowing the country to sign a large number of deals with foreign companies in many different areas. Purchases of commercial aircrafts from Airbus, Boeing and a number of other companies are among the greatest deals inked post sanctions. Iran’s flag carrier, Iran Air, signed a contract with Boeing for purchasing 80 airplanes from the American manufacturer. The company also finalized an $18 billion deal with France-based Airbus for 46 Airbus A320 planes, 38 A330 planes and 16 A350 XWB aircrafts. Also, Iran’s Aseman Airlines sealed a deal with Boeing on purchasing 60 aircrafts. When In November, U.S. Congress voted to block sales of commercial aircrafts to Iran, Head of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Ali Abedzadeh stated that all of Iran’s deals including the one with Boeing have been signed at an international level in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and approved by the United Nations so the companies will be committed to deals; It seems that it will be the case even if the nuclear deal goes off. Iran has also signed a $4.8-billion deal with the French energy major Total in July for developing phase 11 of Iran’s supergiant South Pars gas field (shared with Qatar in the Persian Gulf). This landmark deal was signed between National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a consortium comprising France's Total, China's CNPC International and Petropars Company from Iran. After signing the deal, Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said, for Total, the risks are worth the potential rewards of signing a 20-year agreement. “I will come back to Iran again because this contract is the first of many,” he added. Iranian energy officials predict that another four or five energy companies will follow with investment agreements in the next year. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA are already in talks on developing local fields. Regarding other areas, world renowned carmakers are also taking the risk of entering Iran’s market, France’s Peugeot SA was the first carmaker to re-enter the country in 2016, Volkswagen followed Peugeot after a 17-years absence, to offer Tiguan compact SUVs and the Passat family car to the country. On the other hand, Russian and Chinese companies have already cemented trade relations with Iran and as key Iranian allies they have proved themselves to stay in the country even during the sanctions era. All and all, even if Trump wants to desert the deal, he would need to have the support of many key players like Russia, France, and China, something which appears to be too hard considering their positive attitude toward Iran’s nuclear accord. During his speech at the UN general assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron contradicted Trumps remarks saying that nations are not strong acting alone. He called the nuclear deal “robust” and said “to put it into question without proposing anything to replace it is a grave error.”
  4. Iranian Rial

    Lack of transparency challenges foreign investment in Iran News ID: 4090822 - Mon 18 September 2017 - 17:55 Economy TEHRAN, Sep. 18 (MNA) – A member of European Central Bank’s Executive Board and an auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers firm says transparency is still the major obstacle to international companies’ cooperation with Iran. During a meeting between private sector activists and representatives of PricewaterhouseCoopers firm (PwC) on Monday in Tehran, Jens Rönnberg said that the main obstacle which prevents international companies from investing in Iran is lack of transparency. “We must pay special attention to financial security. Iranian companies must be responsible for risk management and ensure the investors that they have thought out potential risks," he added. Rönnberg went on to say that if such prerequisites are met, investors will notice the transparency in implementing international regulations. "Hence, PwC can help Iranian companies to reach a desirable level of transparency," he added. Roenberg held that if an Iranian company decides to invest in a foreign country, it will require transparency to find an investor; "many Turkish banks and companies have worked with Iranian banks, but they had problems in cash transfer or any other financial transactions which were due to lack of transparency in enforcing international laws and regulations," he said. “We will offer financial services to Iran and employ transparency for our customers; besides that, we will enforce laws against money laundering in Iran," he stressed. PricewaterhouseCoopers (doing business as PwC) is a multinational professional services network headquartered in London, and operating in 157 countries. It is the second largest professional services firm in the world, and is one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG.
  5. Iranian Rial

    TEHRAN, Sep. 18 (MNA) – TCCIMA chairman said the Chamber will begin to reform structure of the Iranian economy in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Company. Masoud Khansari, Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), while addressing a joint meeting with private sector activist and representatives of PwC multinational professional services network, said “following implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the country's political situation has improved and foreign investors are interested in participating in the Iranian economy, but unfortunately, the emerged opportunity has not been seized as much as expected.” The official said, in the post-sanction era, local banks, as a result of pressures that they sustained during sanction years, failed to communicate well with foreign counterparts; “moreover, certain domestic issues remained unresolved in the meantime as Iranian banks failed to adapt themselves to international regulations during the last ten years; for the same reason, firms in the country also failed to establish strong links with foreign parties.” “Over the past two years, Tehran Chamber has established an office to attract foreign investment and appropriate measures have been taken in this regard,” stated Khansari adding “TCCIMA has sought to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in rules and regulations which hinder presence of foreigners as well as to single put potentials for attracting foreigners. He went on to add that another restriction pertained to Iran’s global economy rankings; “in the same vein, TCCIMA calls on PwC to offer proposals for promotion of the country’s in Index of Economic Freedom.” Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is also after making reforms, maintained TCCIMA Head Khansari asserting “the first step was to interests rates of banking deposits.” He said companies in the country should be able to establish a good relationship with foreigners in a bid to attract foreign investors; “we need to comply with international standards hence the joint meeting with PwC who can help with implementation of reform in the country’s economic structure.” PricewaterhouseCoopers (doing business as PwC) is a multinational professional services network headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the second largest professional services firm in the world, and is one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG. Vault Accounting 50 has ranked PwC as the most prestigious accounting firm in the world for seven consecutive years, as well as the top firm to work for in North America for three consecutive years.
  6. Iranian Rial

    In trumps words" they will be a powerhouse"
  7. Iranian Rial

    Iran eying unprecedented boom in oil industry News ID: 4086008 - Fri 15 September 2017 - 11:58 Economy TEHRAN, Sep. 15 (MNA) – According to Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh, Iran will need 200 billion dollars for financing oil and gas projects under the 6th development plan of the country. Luring $100 billion in foreign investment to increase Iran's oil industry is among the oil minister's major tasks. Attracting foreign investment and technology is a priority for the Islamic Iran in the oil industry, whether in shared fields or for increasing the production of oil at fields that are already operational. According to Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh, Iran will need 200 billion dollars for financing oil and gas projects under the 6th development plan of the country. Zangeneh said $130 billion dollars will be invested in upstream projects and the rest will be allotted to developing downstream projects in the industry. He said over 70% of the amount can be supplied by tapping foreign resources, adding, "We need foreign investments in order to reach the envisaged 6 million barrels per day of crude oil and condensate output under the 6th development plan of the country." The official also said that arrangements for holding a tender for developing Azadegan Oilfield. Meanwhile, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also has announced the Ministry of Petroleum is seeking new investments in oil industry in a push to enhance recovery of oil from reserves. Larijani underlined the significance of the sector in the country's economy, adding any development in the industry affects other industries in Iran. He said development of oil and gas sector is a priority for Iran, adding enhancing oil recovery from reserves is high on agenda in the industry. Unprecedented Boom Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and trading said Iran's oil industry must expect an unprecedented boom given the eagerness of foreign companies to develop projects in the Middle Eastern oil-rich country and ongoing talks with them. "My estimation is that within the next two years, the industry will witness an unprecedented boom," he said. The official said Iran is in a good state given the political conditions and ongoing negotiations with foreign companies to develop oil/gas projects. "Although the industry is over a century old in Iran, production is not commensurate with the size of our reserves which highlights the significance of new investments in the industry," Zamaninia added. He said attraction of finances is a serious competition in the world because available resources are limited while demands are high. "Iran's oil industry is currently in its best possible state for attraction of finances; major companies are keen on investing in Iran and good negotiations are under way with them. I keep my fingers crossed that these talks will reach fruition." "Talks are under way with foreign companies to ensure their return to Iran and many of the companies have submitted to NIOC their master development plans (MDP) for developing projects in Iran," Provided that the talks do progress in all sectors as intended by NIOC, their financial dimensions will not take too long given the fact that the company has already signed a deal with a consortium of Total, CNPCI and Petropars for developing phase 11 of the supergiant South Pars Gas Field, he added. "I cannot say which company will be next to Total and CNPCI for signing deals with NIOC," he added, saying, however, that talks with Russian companies are going on well and will hopefully conclude within the next 2 or 3 months, Shana wrote. New Oil, Gas Contracts After no developments last year, Zanganeh said Iran is concluding the financial aspects of a handful of deals with foreign oil and gas companies. Zanganeh said the government was in serious talks with both domestic and international companies on signing off on as many as 10 oil and natural gas deals by next March, UPI reported. German energy company Wintershall is among those considering developments for as many as three projects in Iran. "This is while last year this time we had not made such progress in the talks," Zanganeh said. The German company said in response to emailed questions that it was closely following developments in the region. In January, the Iranian Oil Ministry published a list of 29 foreign oil and gas companies eligible to take part in any upcoming tenders for exploration and production. Royal Dutch Shell was among the first to buy oil from Iran after verification of a multilateral nuclear deal. Later, French company Total, China National Petroleum Corp. and Petropars Ltd., a subsidiary of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company, signed a 20-year contract to develop parts of the giant South Pars natural gas field in the Persian Gulf. "In order to prepare for possible further activities in the region, Wintershall signed a memorandum of understanding last year with National Iranian Oil Company about a potential future cooperation," it said. "Details of the memorandum are subject to confidentiality." Russia is also in negotiations to buy around 100,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran. Deputy oil minister for international affairs in Iran said the contract with Russia will enter into force as early as September. Foreign Investment Recently, Zamani-Nia said a number of foreign companies have voiced their willingness to help Iran implement its oil project. Zamani-Nia said that given the enthusiasm shown by foreign companies to be involved in Iran's oil sector, the industry will experience a great boom within the next two years. Pointing to the ongoing negotiations with directors of foreign oil companies, he added, "There is intense competition across the world to attract foreign investment, but the assets are limited while competition for absorbing them is high." In relevant remarks in late October, Iranian Petrochemical Commercial Company (IPCC) Executive Director Mehdi Sharifi Niknafs said Iranian petrochemical facilities are ready to present their products to Germany, Britain and Europe. According to a directive by the Headquarters of Economy of Resistance, Iran National Oil Company should settle 10 contracts by mid-March 2018. Noting that the first agreement with Total, CNPCI and Petropars has been signed to develop the Phase 11 of South Pars Joint Gas Field, Zamani-Nia said that if technical talks are conducted properly, negotiations on other sections will not take long. Earlier this month, Zanganeh was confirmed for a second term in office as the oil minister for a country that has the third largest oil reserves in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Iran has seen some economic doors open in response to a multilateral agreement that brought sanctions relief in exchange for modification on its nuclear program.
  8. Iranian Rial

    TEHRAN, Sep. 20 (MNA) – At a ceremony in London, the biggest post-JCPOA contract of Iran and Britain was signed to boost Iran’s solar energy capacity by 600 MW. One day after anti-Iranian remarks of President Trump of US, a ceremony was hold in London where the Iranian Ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baiedinejad, and Alex Chisholm, the British Permanent Secretary for BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) witnessed a landmark contract signed. The event took place on Wednesday and the British investor says that it is the biggest cooperation between a British company and Iranians after the removal of anti-Iranian sanctions. Iran’s solar energy capacity will be increased by 600 Mega Watts with putting the plant online. Iran, as the second top economy of the region, is committed to develop 5 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020, so at the end of the project, Iran will own the biggest solar plant in the world, says the specialist renewable energy investor Quercus.
  9. Iranian Rial

    According to Iran’s budget bill for the 2017-18 fiscal year, the government is allowed to attract up to $55 billion in foreign finance, of which projects using $30 billion have already been specified, a deputy roads and urban development minister said. “The foreign finances are to be used for the implementation of projects of ministries and other organizations in the country,” Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan was also quoted as saying by ILNA. He noted that no limit has been set for the amount of finance a ministry or an entity can receive, as the allocated credits will be based on the projects approved by the government. Countries that have shown interest in Iran’s investment potentials include South Korea, China, Japan, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Norway, Russia and Brazil. After the implementation of Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers, the nation has negotiated to attract $50 billion worth of foreign finance, which are expected to flow into the country soon. Fakhrieh-Kashan noted that the $55 billion ceiling for foreign finances consists of $50 billion of direct foreign finance plus $5 billion in loans, either from another government or foreign financial institutions. “Of the foreign loans worth $5 billion, €1.2 billion ($1.44 billion) from Russian resources will be used to electrify the 495-km Garmsar-Inche Burun railroad,” he added, noting that a portion of these finances will be allocated to Iran’s Energy Ministry for the implementation of their projects while the destination of the rest of the credits is not determined yet. Fakhrieh-Kashan said the ministry is trying to finalize a $500 million loan from Azerbaijan to finance the Rasht-Astara railroad project. He emphasized that any ministry that can propose a better project will be prioritized to get a share of foreign finances. Asked which body is responsible to distribute the finances, the official said, “The Fifth Five-Year Development Plan [2011-16] has elaborated that a committee, headed by a representative from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, should be formed to supervise the allocation of foreign finances, but after disagreements arose, the responsibility fell to the Central Bank of Iran and currently there is good cooperation between other organs and CBI.” According to Fakhrieh-Kashan, negotiations have been held with Denmark for €1 billion of foreign finance, but no project has been defined yet to benefit from the credit. “Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mine has signed an agreement with a Danish bank for the allocation of foreign finances and any ministry and organization that can acquire the approval of the Planning and Budget Organization is eligible to use the credits,” he said. The deputy minister said another finance deal worth €3 billion ($3.6 billion) will be signed with Italy. “We are also negotiating with a German company to a credit line worth €3billion ($3.6 billion), €1.7 billion ($2 billion) of which will be used in the projects of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development,” he added. He also announced the signing of finance deals with Japan and Austria in the foreseeable future. Fakhrieh-Kashan noted that the deals with Japan and Austria will be worth $10 billion and €1 billion ($1.2 billion), respectively. This wave of much-needed foreign finance has received extensive media coverage, some of which were critical of the administration, claiming that the government of President Hassan Rouhani is using oil income as collateral for the deals. The misleading reports in the media made the Central Bank of Iran set the record straight and announced that the government is their sole guarantor and that oil revenues are not involved. “Foreign finance deals negotiated in recent months involve loans that will be allocated based on guarantees by the government and permits issued by the Economic Council. Nothing but the guarantee of the government has been considered as their collateral,” reads a statement published on the official website of CBI.
  10. Iranian Rial

    President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is intent on abiding by the 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers, but stressed that the infringement of the international deal by any party to the deal would meet Iran's "decisive" and "resolute" response. He made the remarks in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, in a reference to threats by US President Donald Trump who has often claimed that he could decide to walk away from the landmark accord. "I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement; but it will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party. "It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by 'rogue' newcomers to the world of politics. The world will have lost a great opportunity. But such unfortunate behavior will never impede Iran's course of progress and advancement." He noted that by violating its international commitments, the Trump administration is indeed undermining its own credibility along with the international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise. "The ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric, filled with ridiculously baseless allegations, that was uttered before this august body yesterday [Trump's pugnacious remarks against Iran in his speech at UNGA on Tuesday], was not only unfit to be heard at the United Nations—which was established to promote peace and respect between nations—but indeed contradicted the demands of our nations from this world body to bring governments together to combat war and terror." Addressing leaders and/or their representatives from 193 nations, Rouhani said the effective diplomacy that helped eventually settle the lingering nuclear standoff between the big powers and Iran should be utilized to address other global problems. "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action can become a new model for global interaction based on mutual constructive engagement between all of us. We have opened our doors to engagement and cooperation." The newly reelected president reassured the world that Tehran has chosen to stay on the path of moderation and engagement with the comity of nations. "I declare before this august global assembly that moderation is the inclination as well as the chosen path of the great Iranian people." "The path of moderation is the path of peace, but a just and inclusive peace not peace for one nation, and war and turmoil for others." Responding to US allegations that Iran's policies and actions undermine regional stability and security, Rouhani said, "Today, we are on the frontlines of fighting terror and religious extremism in the Middle East; not for sectarian or ethnic reasons, but for ethical, humanitarian and strategic reasons." "Iran does not seek to restore its ancient empire, impose its official religion on others, or export its revolution through the force of arms," he told the annual meeting of world leaders. The president reiterated that on the back of the nuclear deal, Iran is well-placed to promote its economic collaboration with the outside world. "Iran, enjoying the world's largest gas and oil reserves, is prepared to engage in long-term cooperation to advance global energy security. We are eager to expand international transit corridors through joint ventures in sea, rail and road infrastructure projects."
  11. Iranian Rial

    According to Iran’s budget bill for the 2017-18 fiscal year, the government is allowed to attract up to $55 billion in foreign finance, of which projects using $30 billion have already been specified, a deputy roads and urban development minister said. “The foreign finances are to be used for the implementation of projects of ministries and other organizations in the country,” Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan was also quoted as saying by ILNA. He noted that no limit has been set for the amount of finance a ministry or an entity can receive, as the allocated credits will be based on the projects approved by the government. Countries that have shown interest in Iran’s investment potentials include South Korea, China, Japan, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Norway, Russia and Brazil. After the implementation of Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers, the nation has negotiated to attract $50 billion worth of foreign finance, which are expected to flow into the country soon. Fakhrieh-Kashan noted that the $55 billion ceiling for foreign finances consists of $50 billion of direct foreign finance plus $5 billion in loans, either from another government or foreign financial institutions. “Of the foreign loans worth $5 billion, €1.2 billion ($1.44 billion) from Russian resources will be used to electrify the 495-km Garmsar-Inche Burun railroad,” he added, noting that a portion of these finances will be allocated to Iran’s Energy Ministry for the implementation of their projects while the destination of the rest of the credits is not determined yet. Fakhrieh-Kashan said the ministry is trying to finalize a $500 million loan from Azerbaijan to finance the Rasht-Astara railroad project. He emphasized that any ministry that can propose a better project will be prioritized to get a share of foreign finances. Asked which body is responsible to distribute the finances, the official said, “The Fifth Five-Year Development Plan [2011-16] has elaborated that a committee, headed by a representative from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, should be formed to supervise the allocation of foreign finances, but after disagreements arose, the responsibility fell to the Central Bank of Iran and currently there is good cooperation between other organs and CBI.” According to Fakhrieh-Kashan, negotiations have been held with Denmark for €1 billion of foreign finance, but no project has been defined yet to benefit from the credit. “Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mine has signed an agreement with a Danish bank for the allocation of foreign finances and any ministry and organization that can acquire the approval of the Planning and Budget Organization is eligible to use the credits,” he said. The deputy minister said another finance deal worth €3 billion ($3.6 billion) will be signed with Italy. “We are also negotiating with a German company to a credit line worth €3billion ($3.6 billion), €1.7 billion ($2 billion) of which will be used in the projects of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development,” he added. He also announced the signing of finance deals with Japan and Austria in the foreseeable future. Fakhrieh-Kashan noted that the deals with Japan and Austria will be worth $10 billion and €1 billion ($1.2 billion), respectively. This wave of much-needed foreign finance has received extensive media coverage, some of which were critical of the administration, claiming that the government of President Hassan Rouhani is using oil income as collateral for the deals. The misleading reports in the media made the Central Bank of Iran set the record straight and announced that the government is their sole guarantor and that oil revenues are not involved. “Foreign finance deals negotiated in recent months involve loans that will be allocated based on guarantees by the government and permits issued by the Economic Council. Nothing but the guarantee of the government has been considered as their collateral,” reads a statement published on the official website of CBI.
  12. Iranian Rial

    With the aim of creating a free and competitive market, the government issued a directive to reform the sale of non-staple goods by allowing producers to avoid printing prices on their products as of Sept. 23. "The directive has many proponents and even more opponents, each reflecting on the issue from a different perspective. Yet, all the reasoning for and against the directive published in the Iranian media ever since its inception has only caused more confusion to the public," Mohammad Reza Kalami Bajestan, director general of the Economic Affairs and Commercial Policies Office with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, told Financial Tribune. > Poor Dissemination of Information Former minister of industries, mining and trade, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, had proposed the initiative in the last days of his term by including biscuits, confectionary, cakes, snacks, cellulose products and toiletries in the new pricing scheme. Later, when he handed the baton to Mohammad Shariatmadari, the new minister added conserves, compotes, sauces, pickles, pickled vegetables, jams and honey to the list. It has been announced that if the scheme is successfully carried out, other items will be gradually added to this list. At first glance, the high possibility of sellers and intermediaries taking advantage of the new regulation and causing turmoil in the market is causing serious concerns, especially given the government's poor monitoring system. Naturally, large sections of the public strongly oppose it on social messaging networks and popular websites. > Why Governments Interfere Kalami said all over the world and based on economic principles for developing a competitive market, supply should exceed demand, economic players must be able to enter different markets freely and government meddling in economic affairs needs to be minimized. "In some countries, over certain periods and due to special circumstances such as war, sanctions or an imbalance between supply and demand, prices rise. In such conditions and to support consumers, governments adopt different strategies to solve the problem," he said. "The first and most immediate thing they think of is to increase supply. Yet, this requires investments or rise in imports. These are time-consuming processes. So, to keep things under control, they make use of pricing policies, meaning that they calculate the end price of products, add a specific amount of profit and mandate the producers to sell their products at the price set by them. Consumers must then be informed of the prices set by the government through price tags, media announcements and so on.” > Government Pricing List Shrinks Kalami said this is what happened in Iran many years ago (following the Iran-Iraq War and international sanctions over Iran's nuclear program) and many products were included in the government pricing list due to the supply-demand imbalance. Yet, at the same time, investments were made in the production sector, import regulations were modified and now these policies have borne fruit, meaning that today in many fields supply outstrips demand. Among those are products included in the ministry’s plan. “Since the fiscal 1995-96, the government's pricing list has become smaller and producers have been allowed to set competitive prices based on the market forces. Yet, over all these years, a blatant violation has been going on and many factories still print high prices on their product and the clueless customers who trust the government pricing system believe that these are set by the government,” the official said. > Deceptive Practice But the truth is that a conspiracy has been going on beneath these price tags between sellers and producers in all these years, he added. Kalami said producers add a fixed amount of profit to their end prices and this is the price at which they sell their products to supermarkets and chain stores. "But they also print the consumer price on their products, which is the price at which stores can sell them to customers. The difference between the former and latter prices is the sellers’ profit margin," he said. “What has happened here is that over the years, sellers, pursuing sheer self-interest, have constantly asked producers to print higher prices on products if they want their products to go on their shelves and, not having any other choice, factory owners have complied.” This is where the new scheme can help, Kalami declared. "Producers will be relieved of this pressure and customers will know that the prices on goods are the sellers’ doing. As such, prices in different shops will differ, creating options for customers. Now people will compare prices and quality, and can choose where to shop from," he said. “This will make sellers set more reasonable prices on their products in order to encourage customers to buy from them and keep their businesses running." > Economic Aptitude However, critics of the move argue that many sellers are also likely to set higher prices than before on their products and in the absence of a monitoring system, consumers will be the losers in this scheme. Kalami counters by stressing that the natural course of events based on economic principles will guide the market to a balance. "This has already been experienced elsewhere in the world and there is no reason why it shouldn’t have the same results here in Iran,” he said. Accordingly, when the prices were the same and fixed in all supermarkets and chain stores, the only determining factor for customers was the proximity of the store to their homes, because it made no difference where they purchased their needs from. Now, customers will look at their pockets before making a purchase because they have a choice. Based on what the official says, it could be concluded that profiteering shopkeepers as well as middlemen will either be left out of the loop or forced to change their ways and act according to the market logic in order to keep their customers. In fact, the scheme's success will depend on the economic aptitude of consumers and sellers. As such, ordinary people themselves will be the monitoring agencies rectifying and curbing any opportunistic practices of the sellers. In the past several weeks, a great deal of discussions about the pros and cons of the scheme have been held between experts and non-experts in the field. Some critics say jumping from a government pricing system to one where the supply-demand dynamic determines the prices is too hasty a move. It should be implemented step by step, they say. The first step must be to delegate the task of setting prices from the government to factories, meaning that producers calculate their production expenses and add a fixed percentage of profit to it. Then if anyone had a complaint as to the prices, they can sue the factory. "In order to gather the critics’ opinions and select a moderate approach, we have asked the minister of industries to postpone the plan's implementation to October 23 so that more studies could be carried out,” he said. > Opening Up the Market for Investments The official further said that many foreign companies are not interested in investing in Iran, arguing that the pricing system is controlled by the government and the market is neither free nor competitive. “One effective way to attract foreign investments is for the government to minimize its interference in pricing. This means producers, whether Iranian or foreign, should be able to enter the market and offer their products at any price the market has a capacity for," he said. In such a market, only products with the lowest price and the highest quality can sell and be profitable. The ministry aims to achieve this goal through this scheme. "We want to turn the Iranian market into a competitive one and send this message to Iranian and foreign producers and investors that the market is opening up to them,” Kalami said.
  13. Iranian Rial

    he Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council on Tuesday for expanding cooperation in the fields of energy, rail and aviation industries. “Iran and Russia have long-term strategic ties and we’re here to pave the way for greater mutual cooperation,” IDRO Chief Mansour Moazzemi said in the MoU signing ceremony, the organization’s news portal reported. IDRO was established in 1967 and has evolved into one of the largest conglomerates of Asia. The organization’s objective is to accelerate the industrialization process in Iran and export Iranian products. It owns more than 100 subsidiaries and affiliated companies both domestically as well as internationally. The Russian Trade and Economic Development Council is a state-run organization responsible for trade promotion with a view to strengthening foreign relations of Russian business in international markets and facilitating the localization of foreign companies on the territory of the Russian Federation. The council aims to build up an efficient system for Russia’s foreign trade development and international economic relations.
  14. Iranian Rial

    The French Ministry for the Economy and Finance is planning to grant a €70 million loan to Iran for the renovation of the country's airport equipment and radars, said Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of state to the minister for Europe and foreign affairs in a meeting with Abbas Akhoundi, the Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development in Tehran on Tuesday. The visiting official also said that to compensate the absence of European and French banks in Iran, the French government is defining mechanisms by which it could offer inter-governmental loans to Iran, Mehr News Agency reported. Moreover, Lemoyne announced that Minister of Transport Élisabeth Borne is scheduled to pay a visit to Iran in October. French construction firm Vinci signed a preliminary agreement with the Iranian government to develop airports in the two Iranian cities and tourist hubs of Mashhad and Isfahan after representatives of the European company participated in a business forum at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s headquarters on January 31. Unofficial reports put the value of the deal at $404 million. Negotiations for that matter have been ongoing since President Hassan Rouhani traveled to Paris a few days after the implementation of the nuclear deal. Referring to the United States House of Representatives' Wednesday adoption of measures to prevent sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, Akhoundi described the move as a "stunt" and said despite the measure two ATR aircraft will be delivered to Iran within the next 10 days. "We have grown used to the US not making good on its promises… All companies remain committed to the deals and are bound to implement them." CEO of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh was quoted as saying after the US measure was adopted. Echoing similar remarks, the Secretary-General of the Association of Iranian Airlines told IRNA that Iran's deals to purchase jetliners signed after the removal of nuclear sanctions will remain valid despite the Wednesday measure. Iran's flag carrier IranAir has signed a contract with ATR to purchase 20 of the planemaker’s turboprop regional plane to complete a post-sanctions shopping list which also includes 100 Airbus and 80 Boeing jets. The state-airline has so far received three Airbus and four ATRs. Meanwhile, in a joint business forum held in Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and presided by Yves-Thibault de Silguy, vice chairman and senior lead director of Vinci and chairman of the French-Iranian Business Council and Gholam-Hossein Shafei, the head of the Iranian chamber, the two sides insisted on the expansion of bilateral cooperation in different fields. “The presence of representatives from 40 small and big French companies with me in the ICCIMA indicates our eagerness to expand economic ties with Iran. The French companies are not just looking for trade but pursue long-term partnerships,” said Silguy. According to Shafeie, Iran-France bilateral trade currently stands at $2.4 billion per annum and the two countries plan to at least double the figure by 2018. Later in the day, members of the visiting delegation composed of representatives of French companies active in the fields of industries, banking, finance, energy, international marketing, agriculture, rail transport, airport management and health held B2B meetings with their Iranian counterparts at the headquarters of ICCIMA. Lemoyne and Silguy are heading a high-ranking business delegation to Tehran and later to Isfahan organized by the Movement of the Enterprises of France (also known as MEDEF) and its local structure, CFAT (French Business Center of Tehran). The French delegation arrived in Tehran on Sunday. On Wednesday, they will be in Isfahan to meet with officials, the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and its member companies. A site visit to Isfahan City Center, the largest mall in Iran, is also planned. Established in 1998, MEDEF is the largest employer federation in France. It has more than 750,000 member firms, 90% of them being small- and medium-sized enterprises. Every year, MEDEF International organizes a number of delegations of French business leaders with tangible projects to visit targeted countries, especially the developing countries.
  15. Iranian Rial

    An Iranian official said the country’s airport organization has concluded no deals with foreign firms on developing its aviation infrastructure since January 2016 when Tehran and world powers implemented the 2015 nuclear deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Asked what agreements have been made with foreign investors in this regard, Yadollah Aqaei-Saem, the head of public relations office at Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company, told Trend News Agency only talks are being held. Among the companies holding talk to develop airports is the French construction firm Vinci that signed a preliminary agreement to develop airports in the two Iranian cities and tourist hubs of Mashhad and Isfahan. Unofficial reports put the value of the deal at $404 million. The agreement was signed after representatives of the European company attended a business forum in Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture headquarters on January 31. Negotiations for that matter have been ongoing since President Hassan Rouhani traveled to Paris a few days after the implementation of the nuclear deal. Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company is responsible for ensuring safe operation, management, maintenance and development of airports, air navigation systems and air traffic management in Iran. This is while Aqaei-Saem believes that the country needs to lure investment to build new airports and terminals, as well as develop Iran’s air traffic control systems. Iran’s aviation system was hit hard by international sanctions that were to end with the nuclear deal’s implementation. However, a set of primary sanctions by the US, still in place, that forbids transactions with Iran in the US dollar, as well as new sanctions by the US that are announced now and then even after JCPOA, discourage foreign companies from approaching Iran. Currently, Iran plans to develop the airports of Mehrabad, Imam Khomeini, Tabriz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kerman and Shiraz mainly through foreign investment. Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company’s CEO Rahmatollah Mahabadi said there is need to invest $5 billion in Iranian airports. “To buy navigation systems and airport services, government budget and the company’s earnings are not enough,” he was quoted as saying back in July. There are 54 airports in Iran. The busiest Tehran’s International Mehrabad Airport and Mashhad International Airport handle 400 and 200 daily flights on average respectively. An average of 1,100 international and 900 domestic flights are conducted in Iran every day. Iran Airports Company registered 41,485 takeoffs and landings during the Iranian month ending Aug. 22, which shows a 7% rise compared with last year’s corresponding period. About 5.379 million passengers and 54,602 tons of cargo were transported during the period, indicating a 6% and 14% year-on-year rise respectively. Thanks to JCPOA, the number of tourists that visited the country in the last Iranian year (which ended on March 20, 2017) increased by over 30% from a year earlier, which could be an indication that one of the world’s top travel destinations is already gaining momentum after the removal of sanctions. With over 20 special sites registered on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Iran has been frequently named as a must-visit travel destination. The country aspires to host 20 million tourists annually by 2025, with expectations of expanding the tourism sector to $30 billion. Iranian authorities have already unveiled ambitious plans, including easing visa restrictions as well as constructing new hotels as part of efforts to attract more foreign tourists.
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