Economy, Domestic Economy

Tremendous Potential: $500b Held by Iranian Expats

Tremendous Potential: $500b Held by Iranian ExpatsTremendous Potential: $500b Held by Iranian Expats

Iranian expatriates have invested more than $500 billion outside Iran, according to head of exports committee at Iran’s chamber of commerce, mines, industry and agriculture, Assadollah Asgaroladi.

“An estimated five million Iranian expatriates have made massive investments in the US, EU, Canada and Australia. In recent years, many Iranians have moved their assets to Canada for no other reason but to make investment,” he told Eghtesad-News on Tuesday.

The official further noted that in Dubai alone, Iranian expatriates have invested an estimated $50 billion in real estate and construction sectors, adding that Iranians have also invested huge amounts in China, India, Hong Kong and the UEA over the past decade.

 iBridges Conference in Berlin

The official’s comments come as the UK-based economic newspaper, Financial Times, recently announced that the biggest gathering of Iranian diaspora in more than 30 years will be held in Berlin next month with focus on the burgeoning investment opportunities in Iran’s technology sector.

As many as 2,000 participants — mostly Iranians from the US, Europe as well as foreign investors —  will attend the iBridges conference in Berlin next month to meet entrepreneurs and businesspeople from Tehran. According to the daily, the gathering marks a sign of the “pent-up interest in investing in Iran” once western sanctions (imposed against Iran over its nuclear energy program) are lifted.

With an untapped market and a tech-savvy young population, Iran’s Internet and mobile phone penetration rates are among the highest in the Middle East at 55% and 126% respectively, according to unofficial figures.

President Hassan Rouhani has long pinned hopes on convincing the Iranian expatriates to inject their money into the national economy.  In September last year, just a year after he assumed office, the president said in a meeting with the US-based Iranians that his government welcomes investment by Iranian expats.