Iran Minister Welcomes UK Water Companies

Iran Minister Welcomes UK Water Companies

Iran plans to invest $12 billion in its water and wastewater projects by 2021, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said Thursday.
“The country is expected to invest an estimated $12 billion in the water and waste water sector over five years. We welcome British companies in Iran’s market and call for the transfer of technology,” Chitchian was quoted as saying by IRNA on the sidelines of a meeting with major water companies in London.
Chitchian said the new political climate after the lifting of international sanctions in January has provided Iran with better opportunities in cooperating with foreign firms including British companies and institutions.
The country has made major strides in developing its water and associated infrastructure, he noted.
“We have built 160 large dams and 90 more are under construction”, Chitchian said in an interview with the Asia House, a non-profit pan-Asian organization in the UK that has a mission to build dynamic links between the diverse communities of Europe and Asia.
The minister said there is no restriction on foreign companies entering the Iranian market and multinationals can establish fully-owned companies in Iran.  
There are many projects in Iran awaiting investment. According to Chitchian, 100% of Iran’s population now has access to potable water, but only 43% of the country is covered by sewage networks, indicating that one of the main plans of the key industry is to expand wastewater treatment systems.
“Foreign companies can participate in a variety of projects, namely dam building, seawater desalination, water supply, development of wastewater networks and treatment plants as well as developing smart water management systems."
Iran is also looking to absorb $30 billion in foreign direct investment in the power industry over the next five years.
As an important step to ease foreign investment in the industry, several memoranda of understanding were signed this week between the Iranian and UK governments, including an agreement with the UK Export Finance, the top British export credit agency, to guarantee energy projects in Iran.

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