World  Business and Economic Analysis 

Iran,

  • Europe takes steps to remove banking obstacles with Iran

     

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    In the past few days, two Danish banks as well as an Austrian one have signed major finance deals with Iran to become the first two European countries in providing loans to Iran after the implementation of nuclear deal.

    Denmark's Danske Bank signed a €500 million finance contract with 10 Iranian banks on Thursday, becoming the second European lender to ink such an agreement with Iran, after Austria’s Oberbank signed a major finance deal ceiling of €1 billion with 14 Iranian banks.

    The move is significant as European banks are particular wary of doing business with Iran due to US sanctions. Iran is hoping that the measure would lay the groundwork for other European companies to take similar steps in the near future.

    Danske’s contract has been signed with Saman Bank, Bank Mellat, Tejarat Bank, Bank Melli Iran, Bank of Industry and Mine, Bank Sepah, Bank Pasargad Iran, EN Bank, Bank Keshavarzi, and Parsian Bank.

    Danske, founded in 1871 and headquartered in Copenhagen, is active in 16 countries in the world and in addition to banking services, it provides insurance and housing services as well.

    Karsten Stroyberg, Head of Middle East & North Africa, Danske Bank, told reporters that the contract signed with Iran was an important step in facilitating trade with Iran, especially among the Nordic countries including Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

    According to him, the contract makes financing bigger and long-term projects possible, thus making it a “great opportunity” for development of trade between Iran and the Nordic region.

    The second contract signed between Iran and Denmark after months of negotiations is an MoU with EKF (Denmark's Export Credit Agency), which provides credit coverage and can finance Iran’s various projects, particularly projects related to infrastructure.

    Speaking to reporters, Jørn Fredsgaard Sørensen, head of EKF’s Country, Bank and Sector Risk department, said the contract issues guarantees covering loans to Iranian companies. Under the contract, EKF will also make efforts to encourage Danish companies to do more business with Iran.

    “Doing business with Iran is improving. At the moment, we have made a tunnel through the mountain. Next step will be to place a train on the railroad and keep it going through the tunnel,” he said.

  • European Companies Need Patience

     

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    Heinrich Matthee


    Since the nuclear deal, European companies have been flocking in trade missions to Iran. These companies often also enjoy the support of national and regional governments from Germany and France to Italy or the Netherlands. However, their main obstacle at present is the lack of active support by their preferred financial lenders.
    Several major European banks have stated that they are not prepared to do business in Iran at this stage. These banks include Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group and the U.K.’s Standard Chartered.
    The considerable potential in Iran is as apparent to these banks as to European companies. The inhibitions of European banks are rooted in the USA. They remain scared of running afoul of remaining US sanctions on Iran.
    Painful recent examples keep them alert to the potential drawbacks. BNP Paribas had to pay a record $9 billion US fine partly due to its dealings with Iran. The German Commerzbank agreed to pay $1.45 billion in 2015 in an investigation into whether it breached US sanctions against countries including Iran.
    Thus, a major French bank like Société Générale indicated in May 2016 that it does not plan to restart activities in Iran given the “strong operational risks for financial institutions.” SWIFT, the global bank transactions network, has been reconnected to Iran, but remains dormant.
    It will for now remain difficult to finance major projects and operations. European businesses will either have to find funders or the contracts will not be finalized. For smaller projects, European businesses may find lenders like the Belgian KBC and smaller German banks. Invoicing in Euro and other non-dollar denominations will remain advisable for some time.   
    However, for bigger projects, the funding issue will remain and has now landed on the agenda of European economic diplomacy too.

    Several European governments have started talks with U.S. authorities to get a commitment that banks can do business without incurring legal woes.
    European trade diplomats indicate that there is progress but that it will take time to resolve all the issues. There have been tense US-Iran relations for almost a quarter-century. The financial issue clearly remains a bargaining chip for some US actors.
    The US political position over the long term will also play a role in the reticence of some European banks. After all, the outcome of the US presidential elections in November and the actual policies of a new president remains unclear. These banks do not want to be caught in a new political minefield.
    Thus, for major projects, the funding issue will take time to resolve. It will also remain important for many European companies to understand the ownership and control of their counterparts in Iran. External stakeholder and reputation management and embedding corporate governance standards in their operations remain on the agenda of many.
    In this regard, a remark by Hans-Peter Rapp-Frick, the CEO of the German regional trade association SIHK, deserves attention. One of the biggest drivers of Iranian-European business ties is that Iran’s actors do not only want to conduct business, but that people also want to continue building something of value in Iran.  Despite current obstacles, Iran’s potential will continue to attract European business interest. Those businesses with a longer view, persistence and a commitment to Iranian society will have the greater chances for success.   

    Dr. Heinrich Matthee is a director of JISR, an EU-based strategic advisory firm.

  • Europeans interested to cooperate with Iran's cellphone operators

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    A senior official at Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MCI) announced that foreign investors including the European ones say they are ready to cooperate with MCI Hamrahe Aval (First Operator).
    Europeans interested to cooperate with Iran's cellphone operators
    Abbas Nourbakhsh, deputy head of the MCI for the financial affairs, told reporters on Saturday that the two sides are reviewing the conditions.

    Due to increase in the presence of the foreigners in the country, the use of roaming has also raised in Iran as the MCI has given necessary services, the official said.

    'If those foreign investors buy the stocks here, we will not only cooperate with them inside the country, but also the ground will be prepared for us to be present and active in other countries,' he noted.

  • Export of Iran’s LPG Booming

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    An Iranian official has announced that exports volume of Iranian Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) hit 80 thousand tons in the first two months of the current Iranian year (began March 20).

    Amir Vakilzadeh, Director of the Exports and Imports Office at National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC), stressed that “in the current year, no amount of liquid gas has been burned by domestic refineries.”

    “All produced LPG inside the country has been deployed to foreign markets in the present year,” underscored the official adding “overall, more than 80 thousand tons of Iranian LPG were shipped to foreign countries in the first two months of the current year spanning from March 20 to May 20.”

    Vakilzadeh pointed out that LPG exports are being undertaken via surface to neighboring countries as well as the sea to African countries by exploiting ISO tanks; “LPG exports volume reached 127 thousand tons in the previous year while more than 80 thousand tons have been exported only in the first two months of the current year.”

    African countries like Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania have been purchasing Iran’s LPG over the past two years in the form of ISO tank container shipments.

    CEO of the Iranian Gas Commercial Company (IGCC) Mohammad Ali Barati has recently maintained that gas exports volume will climb by 5000 tons following the implementation of new South Pars developmental phases; “Middle Eastern countries form the largest market for Iran’s LPG.”

  • FATF Suspends Restriction on Tehran

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    An international group that monitors money laundering worldwide decided on Friday to keep Iran on its blacklist of high-risk countries but welcomed Iranian promises to improve and called for a one-year suspension of some restrictions on Tehran.
    At a meeting of its 37 members in South Korea, the Financial Action Task Force also moved to keep North Korea on its blacklist and urged countries to be on guard against Pyongyang’s attempts to bypass sanctions to finance illicit weapons programs.
    “The FATF welcomes Iran’s adoption of, and high-level political commitment to, an Action Plan to address its strategic (anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing) deficiencies,” the task force said in a statement.
    “The FATF therefore has suspended counter-measures for 12 months in order to monitor Iran’s progress in implementing the Action Plan.”
    The statement said that if Iran fails to improve its record as promised, the FATF’s call for vigorous counter-measures will be reinstated. If there is improvement, the task force will consider further positive steps.
    The decision confirmed a Reuters story from earlier this week.
    Iran has lobbied to get off the blacklist and is likely to treat the FATF announcement as a major victory. Tehran has complained it is not getting economic benefits promised it during last year’s negotiations on a nuclear deal with six major powers.
    As a result of that agreement, many international sanctions against Iran were lifted. The United States, however, still has sanctions in place that prohibit trade with Iran in dollars and Iranian access to New York’s financial system. Banks remain wary of getting into trouble with US authorities.
    “Practically speaking the FATF decision changes little since global financial institutions will continue to voluntarily implement strict counter-measures given their serious concerns over Iran’s illicit financial conduct,” said sanctions expert Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
    The FATF reiterated its appeal to countries around the world to “continue to advise their financial institutions to apply enhanced due diligence to (Iranian) business relationships and transactions.”

     Benefits
    Getting off the FATF blacklist, which also lists North Korea, would remove a major hurdle Iran faces in dealing with outside banks and other financial institutions. Iranian and western officials have said that is why Tehran has been pushing hard to come off the list or at least to have the current FATF warning about it softened.
    One Iranian official said prior to the meeting there had been multiple meetings between senior Iranian and European officials in recent months “to help Iran get off the blacklist.” He said the head of Iran’s central bank had discussed the FATF issue with US officials during a recent visit to the United States.
    “We are very optimistic,” he said.
    Iran has said criticism of its AML standards is unfair and contributes to the reluctance of major western banks and financial institutions to do business with it, despite encouragement from US President Barack Obama’s administration. Many large banks are disinclined to deal with Iran for fear of violating remaining US sanctions.
    Since January, Iran has secured banking links only with smaller financial institutions.

      Business Concerns
    Businesses are also wary about wading into Iranian waters until after the US presidential election in November.
    “If (Donald) Trump becomes the next president, then he says he’ll tear up the Iran deal,” a European official said. “Hesitancy on the part of business is understandable.”
    The US has sought to assure international companies that doing legitimate business with Tehran is acceptable. Last month US Secretary of State John Kerry told a meeting of bank executives in London that European banks should not fear punishment from the United States for resuming legitimate trade with Iran.
    A European banking source, who was familiar with that meeting, said Kerry was told, “You may want the European banks to do business in Iran, but you do not let the US banks do so. The message to the politicians is that most banks still see too many risks.”

  • Finland welcomes expansion of ties with Iran

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    Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Vaezi who is visiting Finland met with Finnish FM Timo Soini on Tuesday in Helsinki.
    “I hope that the upcoming visit of Finland’s president to Iran will be very effective in developing trade and economy cooperation between Tehran and Helsinki and in progression of relations,” reiterated Timo Soini, the Foreign Minister of Finland in his Tuesday meeting with Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi who is heading a delegation of public and private sectors’ representative to Finnish capital city of Helsinki.

    The Finnish minister who hailed Iran’s significant role in regional developments asserted that his country’s government will do anything at its reach to promote cooperation between the private and public sectors of the two countries.

    The Iranian Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, for his part, in this meeting, referred to the new atmosphere created after the agreement of July 14, 2015 between Iran and 5+1 especially for EU members like Finland and called for Finnish companies’ re-evaluation of return to Iran as they had already held a share of the market.

    “One of the best models to help Finnish companies return to Tehran is provision of financial, banking and credit services for prospective cooperation cases,” asserted Vaezi.

  • First International Forum on Investment Opportunities In Health Sector

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    Health system of the Islamic Republic of Iran backed by specialized manpower, knowledge of health, health care network and comprehensive plan of universal health coverage, has achieved upper position in the region approved by the World Health Organization. Iranian specialist and experts have the highest therapeutic technique. More than 95 percent of drug and nearly 50 percent of needed medical equipment are domestically produced.

    We are pioneer in many areas in the region. In accordance with the Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1404, the General Policies of Health issued by the Supreme leader and actions taken by the government, the issues of improving the utilization of health services and achieving appropriate place in the region are prioritized. Accordingly, Health Transformation plan was designed and implemented. On the basis of the viewpoints of domestic and international observers, it has made to enhance public satisfaction from received services, particularly in the hospital sector.


    Similar to the approach of the government, the Ministry of Health try not to extend public services and instead the need to use the private sector is highlighted. In this regard, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education welcomes foreign investment and participation of Iranian living aboard in the development of the health infrastructure. The main policy of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education is to purchase strategic services and provide sustainable resources.


    To achieve international standard in health infrastructure, we need to provide more than one hundred thousand hospital beds, more than 600 projects on imaging equipment in different fields, 50 projects in the specialized hospital of cancer comprehensive therapy, 2800 dialysis beds and more than 3000 ground ambulances and 44 air ambulances. If the reconstruction of existing facilities is added to the volume of the needs, investment mark in Iran will be more expanded and reached over 25 billion dollars.


    Investors note that the volume of needs is only to meet the health needs of the population of Iran. With regard to the population of 400 million people in the region, if the needs of health tourism and drug and medical equipment will be added to them, the need for investment will go far beyond. Our highly skilled manpower has provided very suitable conditions for investment in knowledge- based areas, especially in the health sector.

     

  • First International Forum on Project Finance &Investment Opportunities in Iran

     

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    Worldbusinessyear (WBY)  team are pleased to inform that we are  planning to hold roadshow for different sectors in Iran .
        
     

    TheFirst International Project Finance and Investment  Conference in Iran  recent suspension of certain sanctions against Iran and the expectation of subsequent suspensions is opening discussion about the current market situation in Iran and its future opportunities.
    Companies around the world are eager to find out what the temporary relaxation of sanctions, in addition to the future expected lifting of sanctions, could mean for accessing the Iranian market. Join  Finance 2016:Iran , the leading Seminar offering breakout sessions by industry sector, to ensure you meet experts in the field and the people most relevant to you who will help you to identify and bridge opportunities for your business in a post sanction Iranian economy.
    This is the only event in the Iran  that will provide you with to-date market intelligence on topics such as:
    • The Political, Legal and Macro Economic Outlook
    • Overview of Economic Sanctions; Sectors and Industries Affected by Recent Relaxation of Sanctions
    • Opportunities and Challenges for Businesses
    • Identifying a Market Entry Strategy – Geographical and Regulatory Framework for Setting up your Business
    • Practical and Cultural Considerations of Doing Business in Iran
    - See more at: http://www.worldbusinessyear.com
    The WBY Iran Summit is the premium gathering for international investors, senior government officials and leading Turkish corporations.
    The First annual WBY Iran Summit will examine the increasingly significant role of Iran  on the global stage, the positive shifts in the political and business landscape that are drawing international investors to its shores, and some of the challenges to expect along the way. 
    Our speakers and audience will look at the impact and implications of new developments on the following fronts:
    The Economic Front: At a time when much of the shine has worn off emerging markets, is Iran  more fragile than ever - or is it making the necessary changes?
    The Corporate Front: What does Iran need to do to get the inward investment it needs?

    Who should attend?
    This highly informative and practical seminar is a must-attend for all who wish to learn more about the constantly changing environment with regards to doing business with and in Iran, as well as those interested in learning about “if”, “when” and “how” they can enter the Iranian market within the international requirements and regulations. The event is targeting C-level executives, In-House Lawyers, Corporate Strategy & Business Development Professionals in addition to service providers.
    Job titles include: CEOs, Managing Directors, Managing Partners, General and Regional Managers, Head of Legal & Compliance, Directors, Advisers, Representative of International companies in Iran,Vice Presidents, Managers.
    • CEOs;
    • Chairmen;
    • CFOs and Finance Directors;
    • Managing Directors;
    • Marketing and Sales Directors;
    • Government; and
    • Academia


    Why attend?
    • Join 300+ international investors, senior government officials and leading Iranian  corporates, and add your voice to the discussion shaping Iran’s future
    • Immersive networking formats to facilitate conversations with lots of corporate peers facing similar challenges 
    • Understand what Iran  needs to do to get the inward investment it needs
    • Contextualize your business strategy with the latest thinking on the economic, political and corporate fronts
    • Hear how the new administration plans to prepare for Iran's next growth mission
    • Are Iran's 2025 goals out of reach? Find out what the experts think
    • Be part of the conference social media buzz, and raise your company's visibility to a high-profile gathering - in the room, and beyond

     

    Workshop A: Corporate Structures – Comparing Different Legal Entities in Iran
    • Comparing setting up main land vs. free zones
    • FIPPA (Investment Promotion and Protection Act)
    • Type of companies, branch, representative, liaison office
    • Looking Into Free Zones – which one is suited for your business?
    • Looking into choosing the best local partner – a detailed look at criteria, selection and potential pitfalls
    • Best corporate practices and culture
    • Labor laws, employment of foreigners
    • Corporate reporting and taxation
    • Market research and due diligence


    Exhibiting/ Partnership Opportunities
    The Finance 2016: Iran Seminar – Economic Sanctions and What’s Next is bringing together senior executives from throughout the Gulf region interested in finding out more about the Economic Sanctions and future business opportunities in Iran.
    If you want to:
    • Promote a solution related to the industry
    • Want to network with the decision makers
    • Gain direct access to the market
    • Demonstrate your products and services
    • Increase your profile in the industry
    • Generate qualified business leads for your team
    The Finance 2016: Iran is the perfect platform!
    We offer a wide range of options to suit your specific needs. These can include:
    • Exhibition (distribute information about your company/services/products onsite)
    • Brand awareness – ensure your logo is being prominently displayed in the extensive marketing campaign leading up to the event and onsite
    • Reception or lunch sponsorship
    • Speaking position – thought-leadership benefits in an interactive session
    • Extensive (Global and Regional) marketing and PR coverage

    Date :November 2016


    For more information, please contact :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

     

  • First International Forum on Project Finance &Investment Opportunities in Iran (2)

     

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_photo.jpg

     


    Worldbusinessyear (WBY)  team are pleased to inform that we are  planning to hold roadshow for different sectors in Iran .
        
     

    The First International Project Finance and Investment  Conference in Iran  recent suspension of certain sanctions against Iran and the expectation of subsequent suspensions is opening discussion about the current market situation in Iran and its future opportunities.
    Companies around the world are eager to find out what the temporary relaxation of sanctions, in addition to the future expected lifting of sanctions, could mean for accessing the Iranian market. Join  Finance 2016:Iran , the leading Seminar offering breakout sessions by industry sector, to ensure you meet experts in the field and the people most relevant to you who will help you to identify and bridge opportunities for your business in a post sanction Iranian economy.
    This is the only event in the Iran  that will provide you with to-date market intelligence on topics such as:
    • The Political, Legal and Macro Economic Outlook
    • Overview of Economic Sanctions; Sectors and Industries Affected by Recent Relaxation of Sanctions
    • Opportunities and Challenges for Businesses
    • Identifying a Market Entry Strategy – Geographical and Regulatory Framework for Setting up your Business
    • Practical and Cultural Considerations of Doing Business in Iran
    - See more at: http://www.worldbusinessyear.com
    The WBY Iran Summit is the premium gathering for international investors, senior government officials and leading Turkish corporations.
    The First annual WBY Iran Summit will examine the increasingly significant role of Iran  on the global stage, the positive shifts in the political and business landscape that are drawing international investors to its shores, and some of the challenges to expect along the way. 
    Our speakers and audience will look at the impact and implications of new developments on the following fronts:
    The Economic Front: At a time when much of the shine has worn off emerging markets, is Iran  more fragile than ever - or is it making the necessary changes?
    The Corporate Front: What does Iran need to do to get the inward investment it needs?

    Who should attend?
    This highly informative and practical seminar is a must-attend for all who wish to learn more about the constantly changing environment with regards to doing business with and in Iran, as well as those interested in learning about “if”, “when” and “how” they can enter the Iranian market within the international requirements and regulations. The event is targeting C-level executives, In-House Lawyers, Corporate Strategy & Business Development Professionals in addition to service providers.
    Job titles include: CEOs, Managing Directors, Managing Partners, General and Regional Managers, Head of Legal & Compliance, Directors, Advisers, Representative of International companies in Iran,Vice Presidents, Managers.
    • CEOs;
    • Chairmen;
    • CFOs and Finance Directors;
    • Managing Directors;
    • Marketing and Sales Directors;
    • Government; and
    • Academia


    Why attend?
    • Join 300+ international investors, senior government officials and leading Iranian  corporates, and add your voice to the discussion shaping Iran’s future
    • Immersive networking formats to facilitate conversations with lots of corporate peers facing similar challenges 
    • Understand what Iran  needs to do to get the inward investment it needs
    • Contextualize your business strategy with the latest thinking on the economic, political and corporate fronts
    • Hear how the new administration plans to prepare for Iran's next growth mission
    • Are Iran's 2025 goals out of reach? Find out what the experts think
    • Be part of the conference social media buzz, and raise your company's visibility to a high-profile gathering - in the room, and beyond

     

    Workshop A: Corporate Structures – Comparing Different Legal Entities in Iran
    • Comparing setting up main land vs. free zones
    • FIPPA (Investment Promotion and Protection Act)
    • Type of companies, branch, representative, liaison office
    • Looking Into Free Zones – which one is suited for your business?
    • Looking into choosing the best local partner – a detailed look at criteria, selection and potential pitfalls
    • Best corporate practices and culture
    • Labor laws, employment of foreigners
    • Corporate reporting and taxation
    • Market research and due diligence


    Exhibiting/ Partnership Opportunities
    The Finance 2016: Iran Seminar – Economic Sanctions and What’s Next is bringing together senior executives from throughout the Gulf region interested in finding out more about the Economic Sanctions and future business opportunities in Iran.
    If you want to:
    • Promote a solution related to the industry
    • Want to network with the decision makers
    • Gain direct access to the market
    • Demonstrate your products and services
    • Increase your profile in the industry
    • Generate qualified business leads for your team
    The Finance 2016: Iran is the perfect platform!
    We offer a wide range of options to suit your specific needs. These can include:
    • Exhibition (distribute information about your company/services/products onsite)
    • Brand awareness – ensure your logo is being prominently displayed in the extensive marketing campaign leading up to the event and onsite
    • Reception or lunch sponsorship
    • Speaking position – thought-leadership benefits in an interactive session
    • Extensive (Global and Regional) marketing and PR coverage

    Date :November 2016


    For more information, please contact :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

     

  • First International Project Finance and Investment Conference in Iran

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    Worldbusinessyear (WBY)  team are pleased to inform that we are  planning to hold roadshow for different sectors in Iran .
        
     

    TheFirst International Project Finance and Investment  Conference in Iran  recent suspension of certain sanctions against Iran and the expectation of subsequent suspensions is opening discussion about the current market situation in Iran and its future opportunities.
    Companies around the world are eager to find out what the temporary relaxation of sanctions, in addition to the future expected lifting of sanctions, could mean for accessing the Iranian market. Join  Finance 2016:Iran , the leading Seminar offering breakout sessions by industry sector, to ensure you meet experts in the field and the people most relevant to you who will help you to identify and bridge opportunities for your business in a post sanction Iranian economy.
    This is the only event in the Iran  that will provide you with to-date market intelligence on topics such as:
    • The Political, Legal and Macro Economic Outlook
    • Overview of Economic Sanctions; Sectors and Industries Affected by Recent Relaxation of Sanctions
    • Opportunities and Challenges for Businesses
    • Identifying a Market Entry Strategy – Geographical and Regulatory Framework for Setting up your Business
    • Practical and Cultural Considerations of Doing Business in Iran
    - See more at: http://www.worldbusinessyear.com
    The WBY Iran Summit is the premium gathering for international investors, senior government officials and leading Turkish corporations.
    The First annual WBY Iran Summit will examine the increasingly significant role of Iran  on the global stage, the positive shifts in the political and business landscape that are drawing international investors to its shores, and some of the challenges to expect along the way.
    Our speakers and audience will look at the impact and implications of new developments on the following fronts:
    The Economic Front: At a time when much of the shine has worn off emerging markets, is Iran  more fragile than ever - or is it making the necessary changes?
    The Corporate Front: What does Iran need to do to get the inward investment it needs?

    Who should attend?
    This highly informative and practical seminar is a must-attend for all who wish to learn more about the constantly changing environment with regards to doing business with and in Iran, as well as those interested in learning about “if”, “when” and “how” they can enter the Iranian market within the international requirements and regulations. The event is targeting C-level executives, In-House Lawyers, Corporate Strategy & Business Development Professionals in addition to service providers.
    Job titles include: CEOs, Managing Directors, Managing Partners, General and Regional Managers, Head of Legal & Compliance, Directors, Advisers, Representative of International companies in Iran,Vice Presidents, Managers.
    • CEOs;
    • Chairmen;
    • CFOs and Finance Directors;
    • Managing Directors;
    • Marketing and Sales Directors;
    • Government; and
    • Academia


    Why attend?
    • Join 300+ international investors, senior government officials and leading Iranian  corporates, and add your voice to the discussion shaping Iran’s future
    • Immersive networking formats to facilitate conversations with lots of corporate peers facing similar challenges
    • Understand what Iran  needs to do to get the inward investment it needs
    • Contextualize your business strategy with the latest thinking on the economic, political and corporate fronts
    • Hear how the new administration plans to prepare for Iran's next growth mission
    • Are Iran's 2025 goals out of reach? Find out what the experts think
    • Be part of the conference social media buzz, and raise your company's visibility to a high-profile gathering - in the room, and beyond

     

    Workshop A: Corporate Structures – Comparing Different Legal Entities in Iran
    • Comparing setting up main land vs. free zones
    • FIPPA (Investment Promotion and Protection Act)
    • Type of companies, branch, representative, liaison office
    • Looking Into Free Zones – which one is suited for your business?
    • Looking into choosing the best local partner – a detailed look at criteria, selection and potential pitfalls
    • Best corporate practices and culture
    • Labor laws, employment of foreigners
    • Corporate reporting and taxation
    • Market research and due diligence


    Exhibiting/ Partnership Opportunities
    The Finance 2016: Iran Seminar – Economic Sanctions and What’s Next is bringing together senior executives from throughout the Gulf region interested in finding out more about the Economic Sanctions and future business opportunities in Iran.
    If you want to:
    • Promote a solution related to the industry
    • Want to network with the decision makers
    • Gain direct access to the market
    • Demonstrate your products and services
    • Increase your profile in the industry
    • Generate qualified business leads for your team
    The Finance 2016: Iran is the perfect platform!
    We offer a wide range of options to suit your specific needs. These can include:
    • Exhibition (distribute information about your company/services/products onsite)
    • Brand awareness – ensure your logo is being prominently displayed in the extensive marketing campaign leading up to the event and onsite
    • Reception or lunch sponsorship
    • Speaking position – thought-leadership benefits in an interactive session
    • Extensive (Global and Regional) marketing and PR coverage

    Location :Tehran, Iran

    Date :November 2016




    For more information, please contact :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

     

     

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_roadshow1.jpg

  • First VCT Prepares for Underwriting

     

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    Morteza Mirmohammadi Wrote in Financial Tribune  Daily Newspaper that Iran’s first venture capital trust to get listed, will open for underwriting on Iran Fara Bourse on Monday, says Lotus Parsian Investment Bank’s chief executive.


    Iran’s dip into the world of private equity is accelerating, as the public is allowed to buy investment units in venture capital trusts, which in turn invest in small tech companies and foster them.

    Venture capital funds are a pillar of modern finance. They raise capital from wealthy investors and invest in risky startups. Later, they sell their equity in ventures that succeed.

    However, VCTs, a British innovation, raise their money from investors through capital markets with less restriction on investors.

    In the UK, £458 million were invested into VCTs in the 2015/16 tax year, according to figures compiled by the Association of Investment Companies.

    A venture capital trust is designed for individual investors to gain access to investments via the capital markets. Its mandate is to seek out potential venture capital investments in small unlisted firms to generate higher than average risk-adjusted returns for its investors.

    Lotus Parsian’s CEO Ali Teymouri Shandi said Rouyesh Lotus will be the first of its kind to offer its investment units to the public, the initial phase of which will take about a week from Dec. 19 to 25.

    Teymouri hopes to raise 105 billion rials ($2.6 million at market exchange rates) for Rouyesh Lotus during the underwriting period from investors on IFB and 350 billion rials in the next six months.

    The VCT will invest in healthcare, biotechnology and financial technology.

    Rouyesh Lotus has strong ties with Royan Institute, which is one of the fund’s principal investors, and will fund research for cures to blood and breast cancer, diabetes, arthritis and deep wounds and burns, according to Securities and Exchange News Agency.

    Royan Institute is dedicated to biomedical, translational and clinical researches.

      VCT Regulations

    VCT regulations were finalized by SEO in August, according to which, IFB will create a separate board to list them. The new regulations and procedures have been designed to garner more support for Iran’s small base of startups. It is part of a government objective to expand “knowledge-based economy” with the ultimate goal of diversifying the Iranian economy away from oil.

    Based on regulatory requirements by the Securities and Exchange Organization, the VCT has to keep 30% of its investment capital in cash. This will help the fund’s liquidity and ability to take advantage of opportunities but is likely to diminish its returns.

    According to IFB CEO Amir Hamouni, a group of four called the “Venture Capital Review Committee” has been formed to review applications for setting up VCTs.

    The group will have three voting members. The head of the committee will be appointed by SEO. IFB’s board will appoint the second member. The IFB will also pick a Venture Capital specialist as the third member who is also approved by the SEO. An IFB executive will be chosen as the fourth member of the committee, and will act as the committee’s secretary.

    As is evident from the makeup of this committee, SEO intends to keep it under its full control just like it treats TSE and IFB.

     

  • Foreign direct investment on the rise in Iran’s automotive sector

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     Oxford Business Group reported that The lifting of trade sanctions and moves to open the Iranian economy to foreign direct investment have seen a number of international car manufacturers queue up to break into the country’s rapidly expanding automotive industry.

    Iran’s automotive industry currently accounts for nearly 10% of the country’s GDP, the largest non-oil contributor, according to press reports.
    JV to boost production

    In late September France’s Renault announced it had finalised an agreement to create a joint venture (JV) with state-owned Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation of Iran (IDRO) to expand the company’s existing presence in the local market.

    Under the terms of the JV, in which Renault has a majority stake, the car manufacturer will establish a new plant with an initial production capacity of 150,000 units per year, adding to its current 200,000-unit capacity in the country. The plant is expected to come on-line within two years, and Renault will also be authorised to set up its own distribution network, including sales and after-sales dealers.

    Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, minister of industry, mines and trade, said the deal was part of a broader government initiative to expand and strengthen the automotive industry’s product offerings.

    “The Iranian government wants to attract foreign investment in the Iranian car industry to bring competitive new products benefitting Iranian customers with respect to standards, quality and safety,” Nematzadeh said when the agreement was signed.

    For its part, Renault is looking to expand its footprint to become the third-largest producer in Iran – behind Iran Khodro (IKCO) and SAIPA, both subsidiaries of IDRO –according to a statement made to industry media by Bernard Cambier, senior vice-president and chairman of the Africa-Middle East-India region at Renault. Currently, Renault has cooperative deals with both firms for the production of Renault-designed passenger vehicles.
    Citroën re-enters the market

    The Renault deal comes as fellow French manufacturer Citroën looks to regain its position in the Iranian market, after pulling out of the country in 2012.

    In early October Citroën’s parent company, Groupe PSA, signed a JV agreement with its former partner, SAIPA, to produce Citroën vehicles at a new plant in Kashan.

    Under the 50:50 agreement, the partners will invest more than €300m in manufacturing and research and development capacity through to 2021, with production of three Citroën models to begin in 2018. Imports of Citroën vehicles will commence next year ahead of direct production.

    SAIPA officials have said locally sourced parts and supplies will account for 35% of production when assembly begins, rising to 70% by 2020.

    The French firms’ expansion plans drove up share values on the Tehran Stock Exchange’s automotive index in the first week of October, pushing the index up by 8.4%, contrasting with a 0.2% dip on the all-share board.
    Queuing up

    Manufacturers from further afield are also looking to establish a presence in the Iranian automotive industry.

    During President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Kuala Lumpur in early October, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia was looking to boost economic cooperation between the two countries, with the automotive sector being one of the key areas targeted.

    “Iran has imported 12,000 Proton Saga [cars] in the past and we hope to participate in the automotive industry, particularly as [a] supplier,” Najib said.

    Germany is similarly eyeing a slice of Iran’s vehicle market. In early October Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and federal minister for economic affairs, and Ali Tayebnia, Iran’s minister of economic affairs and finance, signed a series of memoranda of understanding to boost economic cooperation across a number of sectors, including automotive, finance, energy and infrastructure.

    While final details of what form the automotive cooperation will take have yet to be released, the agreement demonstrates Germany’s intent to challenge the rising presence of French brands already on the ground in Iran.

    One German-owned brand that has already announced plans to begin exports to Iran is Volkswagen’s Czech manufacturer Skoda, with Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda, saying in late September that the firm was aiming to target sales in both Iran and South Korea.
    Leading the way

    The international interest is timely, with Iran seeing an upswing in production.

    Last year domestic output stood at just under 885,000 passenger vehicles and around 97,500 commercial vehicles, according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. While most of the production was geared towards meeting local demand, some units were exported, mainly to countries in the MENA region.

    Production has accelerated further in the first half of this year, with nearly 580,000 vehicles – including 534,000 passenger cars and a mix of buses, pick-ups and trucks – rolling off assembly lines since March 20, the beginning of the Iranian calendar year, representing a 15.6% year-on-year increase, according to press reports.

    The MENA market is expected to see strong growth over the next five years, with Iran set to be among the leaders in terms of expansion, according to PwC’s “2016 Auto Industry Trends” report. Demand in the Iranian market is expected to more than double to 2m vehicles by 2020, according to estimates made by industry stakeholders.

    Issued in October, the report said that expansion in MENA will also help offset projected deceleration in some other established and developing markets, such as Russia, Brazil and the US.

  • Foreign Firms to Invest $1 Billion in Iran’s Ports

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    Iran is developing ports to handle more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


        Iran is expecting GDP growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years.
       

    Foreign firms are expected to make nearly $1 billion of investment in the country’s port and shipping industry. That, according to the managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Mohammad Saeednejad.

    Since the removal of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, under a deal negotaited between Iran and six countries, various foreign delegations have travelled to Iran and expressed willingness to invest in the country’s port and maritime projects, Saeednejad told the Tasnim news agency.

    Iran is also the second largest country in the Middle East with a population of 80 million, an estimated GDP of $435 billion, and expected growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years. The country is also positioned as a global trade gateway to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a market of more than 400 million people.



    Nine major foreign investors have so far submitted their bids to develop Shahid Rajaee port in Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas, he said, adding that the proposals are under study.

    “New contracts worth nearly $1 billion to develop the country’s ports will be signed this year,” the Iranian port official said, referring to the Iranian year which ends March 20.

    In June, India pledged to contribute $500 million to the development of a port at Chabahar in southern Iran, as part of a deal that also includes Afghanistan. The deal helps provide India with access to markets in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

    Saeednejad also said that 17 major international shipping lines have chosen the country’s ports among their ports of call.

    Among others, the world’s largest container carrier Maersk Line has reentered the Iran market after a five-year absence. Maersk’s Iran business will be managed by a team that oversees a cluster of countries,which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.

    In recent months, Iran’s southern Shahid Rajaei port and other major ports have turned into major hubs for shipping and transship activities. The Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization have rated thee facilities as suitable for international vessels following the removal of the sanctions.

    But even with the easing of sanctions following the nuclear deal, a raft of other trade restrictions remain in place.

  • Foreign Insurers Wary of Iran Despite Vast Opportunities

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    Axco Insurance Information Services (Axco) has released its latest country report on Iran, highlighting hesitancy from international brokers and reinsurers, despite the country offering vast opportunity following the removal of US and UN sanctions in January this year.

    According to the report released by cpifinancial.com, Iran is the largest non-life insurance market in the Middle East and was the 29th largest market globally in 2014. Non-life market premium income (excluding health business) grew 22.6 % from 2014-15. Indeed, before sanctions were imposed, economic development led to above-inflation premium growth in 2010-12, although the effects of international sanctions hindered growth in real terms from 2013 onwards.

    In June 2010 the UN Security Council imposed sanctions, which included restricting the provision of underwriting services, insurance and reinsurance aimed at Iran’s nuclear program. Considerably harsher EU sanctions were also imposed and resulted in the supply of (re)insurance capacity from European and US markets effectively ceasing in 2012.

    Insurance penetration in the Iranian non-life market is low: in 2014 total market premium was 1.27 % of GDP with only $69 per capita spent on insurance.

    A myriad of challenges await foreigners attempting to enter the market. US primary economic sanctions remain, precluding US companies from re-entering Iran, with the largest bottleneck in future business with Iran likely to be US banks. Last week’s US election result has created further uncertainty around whether or how a Trump administration would “tear up” Obama’s 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement.

    Iran is also plagued by high inflation, which in 2013 reached in excess of 39%. But by 2015 this had fallen to 13.7% and is forecast to fall to 12.5% for 2016.

     Risks and Opportunities

    Since 2000, there has been a trend towards regulation and privatization. State owned and private insurers are in direct competition and private insurers may have a maximum 49% foreign shareholding with the correct permissions. There are currently two state owned companies; Bimeh Iran (Iran Insurance Company), which held the largest market share at just over 40%  in 2014, and reinsurer Bimeh Markazi (CII), which enjoys a compulsory cession of 25% of non-life business and first refusal on up to 30% of all outwards reinsurance.

    There are no other restrictions on reinsurance arrangements, although overseas reinsurance capacity was seriously curtailed as a result of recent sanctions. It is thought 16% of gross capacity requirements was placed overseas in 2010, compared to 60% a few years prior.

    Tim Yeates, managing director at Axco, commented, “Iran is attempting to attract foreign business back into its borders, as it stated it will be taking applications for energy projects. However, foreign investment will remain slow if there isn’t the appropriate coverage available for these types of projects. The gap may have to be filled by governments.

    “Despite all the challenges Iran has faced over the past few decades, Iran offers huge opportunities, which we see only growing as there is more foreign investment. However, it’s important to understand the risks and challenges that the Iranian market offers.

  • Foreign investors can purchase shares of Iranian state-run companies

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     Iran Privatization Organization (IPO) is transferring shares of 140 Iranian state-run companies to the privates sector, and foreign investors are welcomed to make purchase if they wish to, Deputy Head of IPO Davoud Khani said, the IRIB news agency reported on Wednesday.

    Expressing content that implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 has set a proper bed for IPO and domestic investors to enhance their levels of ties with foreign counterparts, the official admitted that in a bid to improve economic infrastructure and reinforce domestic private sector, his organization has provided foreign applicants for buying Iranian shares with a list of the governmental companies with available stakes for being transferred.

     

    According to him, IPO has transferred over half of the total of 1,100 state-run companies to the private sector since the Iranian calendar year of 1380 (March 21, 2001-March 20, 2002), however, some of the companies have been eliminated from the transfer list due to some problems.

     

    Iranian state-run companies have transferred 109 billion rials (about $3.144 million) worth of their shares to the private sector since the beginning of current Iranian calendar year (March 20), the Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.

     

    Meanwhile, 29.662 trillion rials (about $855.799 million) worth of the shares of state-run companies were transferred to the private sector in the past calendar year of 1394 (which ended on March 19).

     

    The Iranian government envisioned a large privatization program in the Fifth Five-Year National Development Plan (2010-2015), aiming to privatize about 20 percent of the state-owned firms each year.

    Under the present interpretation of the Article 44 of Iran's Constitution, hundreds of state-owned companies have been privatized.

  • France doubles visas for Iranians


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    French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says France will double the number of visas for Iranians.

    France says it will double the visas available for Iranians in 2017, in what appears to be a response to US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban order which has targeted Iranians – as well as nationals from six other Muslim countries.

    The visiting Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a speech to the French expatriate community in Tehran that the US should avoid any move that would promote discrimination against nationals of other countries – what he suggested Trump’s order would lead to.     

    "The welcoming of refugees is a duty and question of solidarity," Ayrault said. "Terrorism doesn't have a nationality and discrimination is not a response."

    The measure also comes as France seeks to deepen bilateral ties with Iran after the lifting of Iranian sanctions in 2015, AFP reported.

    France issued about 40,000 visas to Iranians in 2016, the news agency quoted an unnamed French diplomatic source as saying, adding that the visas would cover tourism, students and work.

    Trump in an executive order issued on January 27 blocked the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen into the United States for 90 days. It also suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.

    This provoked an immediate reaction from Iran with the country’s Foreign Ministry pledging a response in kind.

    Ayrault arrived in Tehran on Monday heading a senior politico-economic delegation.

    During his two-day stay, the French foreign minister plans to meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.

  • France in strong show of support for Iran ties

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    Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault expresses full support for expansion of economic relations with Iran. (Photo by AFP)

    France is using a visit to Tehran by its Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to show its support for the expansion of economic relations with Iran in the face of growing tensions resulting from what many see as the unfolding anti-Iran approach by US President Donald Trump.        

    Ayrault told a meeting of Iranian-French business leaders that last year’s nuclear deal with Iran had opened a new era that had already led to a major expansion of relations between the two countries.     

    He said that protecting the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was “extremely important” for Paris.

    The French top diplomat emphasized that it was the JCPOA that opened the way for France to move ahead with the expansion of its relations with Iran in all areas.

    Ayrault said the expansion of France’s economic ties with Iran would benefit both countries, adding that Paris had never been so eager to develop relations with any other country.

    He further named the deals that Iran had already signed with companies Total, Renault and Airbus as examples of French determination to promote economic ties with the Islamic Republic.   

    Nevertheless, Ayrault emphasized that the current banking hurdles remaining from the years that Iran was under sanctions still needed to be removed to further facilitate trade between the two countries.

    The remarks by the French foreign minister came on the heels of a controversial decision by President Trump to ban Iranian nationals from entering the US.

    Apart from Iran, citizens of Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen have also been banned from entering the US for a period of 90 days.

    The move drew an immediate reaction from Iran with the country's Foreign Ministry pledging a response in kind.

    Read more

        Iran vows to reciprocate US visa ban
        Iran summons Swiss envoy over US travel ban

    Ayrault had criticized Trump’s move upon arrival in Tehran on Monday.  He had called for avoiding any move that he said would promote discrimination against nationals of other countries – what he suggested Trump’s order would lead to.   

    The French foreign minister – who is heading a delegation of 100 businesspeople in his Tehran trip - had further announced that Paris would double visas for Iranians in 2017 in what was seen as a response to the US ban against Iranians.   



    Many Iranians living in the US are already expressing shock at Trump’s decision. The worst affected appears to be a community of about half a million Iranians living in Los Angeles.   

    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the same meeting of Iranian-French business leaders in which Ayrault was speaking that Tehran was determined to promote economic relations with the European countries, specifically France.

    Zarif said the volume of Iran’s trade with France tripled after the implementation of the JCPOA and the subsequent removal of sanctions against Iran.  Nonetheless, he said there was still room for both countries to further increase their level of mutual trade.  

    He further said Iran counted on France – as a party to the JCPOA – to help remove the banking obstacles that were blocking the full exploitation of trade opportunities with Iran.

  • French speaker: No peace in Mideast without Iran

     

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    French Parliament Speaker Claude Bartolone said the Middle East will see no lasting peace without Iran’s participation.

     

    Bartolone made the remarks on Thursday in a phone conversation with Ali Larijani to congratulate him on his reelection as the Iranian parliament speaker, Press TV reported.

    “I believe the most important issue today is the fight on terrorism which Iran should play its role in this regard,” the French speaker said.

    “Without Iran, the region will not witness a lasting peace,” he added.

    Iran is helping Syrian and Iraqi governments to drive out foreign-backed terrorists from the two Arab countries.

    The Islamic Republic is one of the key partners to Syria peace talks which are currently suspended after a Saudi-led delegation abandoned the negotiations in Geneva.

    Bartolone said he will visit Tehran in “the near future,” adding there are important issues for consultation between Iranian and French officials.

    Hassan Rouhani visited Paris in January, part of the first European visit by an Iranian president in 16 years.

    The trip, which followed Rouhani’s visit to Rome, aimed to boost Tehran’s trade with Europe after years of sanctions.

    “Bilateral ties and expansion of economic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and France entered a new phase” with President Rouhani’s visit, Bartolone said.

    The speaker said France is interested in interaction with Iran in such fields as the fight on terrorism, expansion of bilateral ties and cooperation between Iran and the EU on guaranteeing peace and stability in the Middle East.

    Despite France’s tough line during negotiations for a nuclear deal, Paris and Tehran traditionally have had a special economic relationship.

    Aviation, automobiles, and oil are three key industries on which their economic cooperation is based.

    Iran is in the process of buying 114 Airbus jets and has announced its decision to buy 40 French-Italian ATR planes.   

    In the automotive sector, France’s Peugeot-Citroen is set to sign contracts with Iran Khodro and Saipa, Iran’s two largest automotive manufacturers.

    The French energy giant Total is also resuming its activities in Iran’s oil and gas sectors following years of a strong presence in the country.

  • French state bank BPI to fund projects in Iran, CEO tells paper

     

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    French state bank BPI to fund projects in Iran, CEO tells paper

     

     

    The logo of French Public Investment Bank (BPI) is seen on the BPI headquarters at Maisons-Alfort near Paris March 16, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

    PARIS (Reuters) - Bpifrance, the country’s state investment bank, will finance investment projects of French companies in Iran from 2018, granting up to 500 million euros ($598 million) in annual credits, its CEO said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.

    “Excluding a force majeure case, we will be on their side in early 2018. We are the only French bank that can do it without risking U.S. sanctions for a possible breach of remaining embargo rules,” Nicolas Dufourcq told Le Journal du Dimanche.

    The deal Iran struck in 2015 with six major powers lifted many sanctions against the country in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities and paved the way for international business deals.

    But many banks have stayed away for fear of inadvertently breaking remaining U.S. sanctions, which could lead to huge fines.

    Because the BPI has no operations abroad, notably in the United States, it is not exposed to possible fines for U.S. sanctions breaches.

    U.S. President Donald Trump has created new uncertainties over the U.S. stance towards the Iran nuclear agreexcment. Trump told reporters this week that he had made a decision on what to do about the agreement but would not say what he had decided.

    Several Franco-Iranian deals were announced during Iran President Hassan Rouhani’s official visit to Paris in January last year. These included a joint venture between carmakers PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) and Iran Khodro as well as plans for Iran to buy Airbus (AIR.PA) aircraft to update its ageing fleet.

    There were also deals in the oil, shipping, health, agriculture and water sectors.

    Source:Reuters

  • German vice chancellor due in Tehran in near future

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    German ambassador to Tehran underlining that the two countries enjoy a long, successful and fruitful trade relations, announced German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel is planning to visit Iran in upcoming days.

    Heading an economic delegation, Michael Baron von Ungern said to IRNA reporter on Monday, Mr. Gabriel who is also Germany's economy minister will pay a visit to Tehran for economic talks and to restore Economic Commission of Iran and Germany.

    Pointing to the recent visits paid by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Iran within 4 months, Ungern expressed satisfaction with the enhancement of relations between Iran and Germany, following the JCPOA implementation.

    "Germans’ presence in Iran clearly indicates the importance they attach to Iran and the issues of Middle East," German diplomat stressed.

    Noting that 10 German high-ranking delegations have visited Iran since the nuclear deal was implemented, Ungern said their greater focus is on the issue of trade relations.

    “Many companies are interested in cooperation with local partners and some think about large investments in Iran now; due to the decades of trade relations between Iran and Germany, many German managers are not stranger to the Iranian market and would benefit from their past experiences,” he added.

کتاب عملیات بانکی در عرصه بین الملل -سرفصل ها،ضمائم ،توصیه صاحب‏نظران ارزی و مدیران ارشد بانکی

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