Support for Entrepreneurs Tops Government Agenda

Support for Entrepreneurs Tops Government AgendaSupport for Entrepreneurs Tops Government Agenda

President Hassan Rouhani said his government intends to encourage entrepreneurship by attracting investment and acquiring the latest technologies through joint ventures with foreign businesses.

International firms have been jockeying for a share of the lucrative Iranian market after economic sanctions were lifted.

The relief from sanctions was granted in exchange for temporary constraints on Iran's nuclear work under the nuclear accord with P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany), which was clinched on July 14 and went into force last month.

"The government aims to encourage entrepreneurs. For them to gain ground against regional and international rivals, investment and technology are required," Rouhani was quoted as saying by IRNA on the sidelines of a ceremony to unveil nearly 140 provincial projects via video conferencing in Tehran on Tuesday.

"We have been focusing on increasing support for the private sector. I have had delegations of 100 to 150 manufacturers, industry managers and entrepreneurs accompany me on all of my overseas trips and we held meetings with entrepreneurs and economic directors of the host countries."

The president chided domestic opponents of the nuclear agreement for claiming that the Islamic Republic made too many concessions during the negotiations leading to the deal, arguing that even hostile western and regional governments acknowledge that Iran got the better of the West in the negotiations.

"Even our adversaries who oppose this agreement, including those in the United States, the illegitimate regime of Israel and some panicked regional governments, say the six powers lost to Iran," he said.

Rouhani stressed that foreign firms are welcome to do business in Iran, provided they share investment and technology with their Iranian partners.

"We have demanded that foreign investors bring along technology. Unlike in the past, we are now capable of absorbing technology and this is a very important development," he said.

The president lamented that corruption poses a formidable challenge to the government's efforts to revive the economy.

"Corruption is a challenge. We should fight and eliminate corruption. With pervasive corruption in the country, the desired true progress would be impossible," he said.

Rouhani called for more stringent customs controls to prevent the flow of contraband into the country.