Economy, Domestic Economy

Big No to Big Gov’t

Big No to Big Gov’tBig No to Big Gov’t

Members of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture discussed the presence of foreign investors in Iran and warned against an increase in the share of the government in the economy.

At a meeting in Mashhad on Sunday, they called for joint investment by foreigners and the private sector and said having a transparent economy is an essential prerequisite for foreign investment, Donya-e Eqtesad reported.

Members of the ICCIM believe that corruption abounds in state-run economies.

Referring to the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, the deputy head of ICCIM, Gholamhossein Shafei said: “We need to accept the realities of Iran’s economy. Paving the way for the private sector is more important than lifting the sanctions, since it will assist economic growth, production boost, improvement of the business environment, employment, and reestablishment of relations with the global economy. We will face serious challenges if we fail to resolve this issue. Now we are witnessing a gulf between production in Iran and the world. By upgrading our technology and equipment we will be able to make up for this backwardness.”  

The head of ICCIM, who was also present at the meeting, viewed Iran as an oil-dependent economy and said it has been hit in recent years due to global recession, sanctions and mismanagement but the nuclear deal has breathed a new life into it.

Corruption and bureaucracy are the by-products of a big government which also harms competitiveness; Mohsen Jalalpour said adding that the recession in Iran’s economy is alarming.

“Foreign investors will not act on impulse. You cannot attract foreign investment by simply advertising. We need to create a transparent and competitive condition for that to happen,” he noted.

Head of Esfahan Chamber of Commerce Abdolvahab Sahlabadi called for specialized meetings between private sector companies and foreign delegations.

“Meetings with the foreign investors should not be restricted to governmental and semi-government companies,” IRNA quoted Sahlabadi as saying.

  Private Sector and European Relations

Separately, the head of the High Council of Imports at Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture said the private sector will play a significant role in cooperation between Iran and economic delegations from Europe.

Referring to the recent visit to Iran by an Italian delegation, Mohammadhossein Barkhordar said: “Gone are the days when Europeans could sell their goods to us. Now it’s clear to them that SMEs are of particular importance in their cooperation with Iran.”

Return of European companies will stimulate competition between them and Asian companies such as in India and Turkey, the likely outcome of which will influence the prices and quality of products within 18 months, ISNA quoted him as saying.

The private sector has outstripped the public sector in initiating relations with foreign firms, thanks to their past connections, he added.

“We should recall that our economy has been governmental or semi governmental for long years and that cannot change overnight,” he noted.