World  Business and Economic Analysis 


  • Foreign tourists spent billions in Iran last year


    A senior Iranian official says millions of foreign tourists spent nearly eight billion dollars in the country last year.

    Masoud Soltanifar, head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, told reporters on Monday that some five million foreign tourists visited Iran last year, spending at least 7.5 billion dollars.

    “Currently, the country’s income from tourism industry accounts for half a percent of the global revenue,” Soltanifar said, adding that the government seeks to increase the figure to two percent by 2025, IRNA reported.

    The senior official, who is also a deputy to the Iranian president, noted that Iran ranks 47th on the list of countries with highest tourist number, saying that given its tourist destinations, the country needs to attract some 20 million foreign visitors by 2025.

    A New York Times report last month said tour operators in America have been speaking of a surge in bookings by many Americans who, undeterred by a State Department warning about travel risks to Iran, are keen on visiting the country.

    Iranian officials told the Associated Press last fall that the country’s tourism sector aims to attract $30 billion by 2025.

    Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments, including 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and its varied terrain ranges from desert locales to ski resorts.

    Iran tourism, however, reportedly suffers some deficiencies such as shortage of enough hotels and some financial restrictions for foreign money transfers.

    Officials say hotel groups from Germany, Greece, South Korea and Singapore traveled to Iran last year for talks on hotel construction.

    Europe’s largest hotel group Accor has already built two four-star hotels at Imam Khomeini International Airport outside the capital, Tehran.

    Also, the UAE-based Rotana plans to open a five-star 600-room hotel in Tehran and another in the city of Mashhad, which attracts millions of pilgrims each year.

  • The WBY Discovers the Real Iran ,Japanese pianist feels at home in Iran


    By Sadeq Dehqan and Hamideh Hosseini

    Renowned Japanese pianist Etsuko Hirose, who is in Iran to perform some concerts during Japan Cultural Week (January 22 to 28) has said that she has found commonalities and closeness with Iranian people and is content over such closeness.

    The Japanese pianist, who currently resides in Paris, learned to play piano when she was three years old. She could play Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 26, K537 along with an orchestra.

    Hirose won the first prize for young pianist at the International Competition Frédéric François Chopin in Moscow and third prize in ARD International Music Competition in Munich as well as the first prize in Martha Argerich International Piano Competition in Buenos Aires in 1999.

    She experienced her first orchestra performance with NHK Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit in 2001. She also worked with several world symphonies, namely Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Argentine National Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Excerpts of the interview follow:


     How well do you know Iran and its music?

    ETSUKO HIROSE: I am here in Iran for the first time. Although I do not know Persian language and your musical preference, I could have a very close relationship with Iranian people. In addition, music is an international language and is able to link people of different countries and languages. I am content over such closeness with the Iranian people.


    How many performances have been arranged for you in Iran? How satisfied are you with your performances?

    Actually, I had two performances for Japan Cultural Week in Tehran and one in Isfahan. In my opinion, the performances were successful and I could communicate with the audience which was clear from their applause and concentration on my works. As you know, performing concert is a mutual program between the performer and audience. Of course, before the concert, I had visited Iran for a short time which helped me a lot in communicating well with the Iranian people.


    What are your favorite musical pieces? What is your style in playing piano?

    I have worked on romantic pieces. Two issues are of high significance in my performances: The first is the purpose of the program's producer and the second is the kind of message they can convey. I do my best in playing piano and try to put all my feelings into the performance.


    How are the works of Eastern and Western pianists different?

    Many years ago, the difference between Japanese and Western pianists was very palpable. The difference was due to several issues. At present, all musical boundaries are unclear and one might even find a lot of similarities in the music of two cultures.

    As I have learned playing piano in France, my style is inevitably like French pianists.


    Please tell us briefly about your performance. On the stage, while you were playing, you breathed deeply at intervals and you also used head and hand movements. Does it have a dramatic aspect or is there any other reason?

    I believe that a music player is like a lecturer with rising and falling tones which are very important for his or her words. Although piano is an instrument, I maintain that the very basis of music is voice. While playing the piano, I try to be like a singer who sings a piece.


    How did you select the pieces that you performed in Iran?

    In fact, I intended to show the high capabilities of the piano in performing the pieces using several themes and subjects. Accordingly, I used Beethoven's 'Moonlight' which is about nature and environment. I believe that music is not just to convey human feelings but rather the nature's feeling. I used Mily Balakirev's 'Islamey' out of respect for Islam.


    Are you satisfied with your current position in playing the piano?

    I don't think I've achieved the pinnacle of my ability yet. Usually, pianists reach that point in their 40s or 50s. I do my best to develop my performances.


    What are your programs after the performance in Iran?

    I will return to France after the concerts in Iran. I will have five concerts in a music festival in France and after that I will go for programs in the US and Japan.

  • What is real Image of Iran for Investment ,finance,banking ,capital market ?


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

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