Economy, Business And Markets

Torkan Makes Case for Isfahan Investment

Torkan Makes Case for Isfahan Investment Torkan Makes Case for Isfahan Investment

Paving the way for foreign firms to return to the Iranian market and bring along advanced technology is among the top priorities, Akbar Torkan, senior advisor to President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.

“Iran needs close international cooperation and constructive interaction with the outside world to be able to grow and prosper.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Conference on Investment Opportunities in Isfahan, he said “The presence of foreign investors in Iran would usher in modern management techniques and technology and foster development and growth,” IRNA reported on Wednesday.  

The veteran politician and close confidante of President Rouhani said permanent reliance on government aid is not a sustainable way to grease the wheels of economic growth.

“It is government policy and planning that lead to economic growth and development and not the state money,” he told the conferees in the historic city and tourist hub.

“The country’s unfinished projects need a total of 4.5 quadrillion rials ($150 billion) to complete and the annual budget is not enough to cover such expenses.”

Referring to the decade-plus sanctions, the outspoken official said the embargo has created a host of financial, social and economic problems and deprived the country of much-needed modern technology.

“Lack of cutting-edge technology and know-how took a heavy toll particularly on the auto, steel, electricity and petrochemical industries,” He said. “Our top priority must be investment in advanced technology and knowledge-based industries.”

Torkan pointed to Isfahan’s economic potential saying the tourist destination is home to major textile, steel and machine-making industries. He urged the businesses in the city to make the move to the post-industrial era saying Isfahan should be the front-runner in achieving this objective.

“Isfahan’s impressive role in the tourism industry is a sign that the city is moving toward the post-industrial era.”

 Necessity, Not an Option

Rasoul Zargarpour, governor general of Isfahan Province, told the meeting that foreign investment for the province is a necessity, not an option.

“The resistance economy-- a set of guidelines introduced by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei -- requires both foreign and domestic investment to underpin Iran’s standing in international markets.”

He added that the lifting of the sanctions would ease foreign investment and reduce investment risks.

“Inventors are welcome in Isfahan,” he said.

Mehdi Jamalinejad, Isfahan mayor, also expounded the on the city’s merits for investment. “Tourism infrastructure, knowledge-based industries, renewable energies and artworks are among our unique features that make this creative city appealing to foreign investment.”

Isfahan is full of opportunities, he said.”However, attracting investment (also) requires specific rules and regulations to protect the rights of investors.”