Call for Competitive, Knowledge-Based Economy

Call for Competitive,  Knowledge-Based EconomyCall for Competitive,  Knowledge-Based Economy

President Hassan Rouhani said his government is focused on developing a competitive, knowledge-based economy to promote national prosperity and public welfare.

"We need an economy and economic institutions with a competitive edge in the global market so they can boost national wealth … and improve the livelihood of the Iranian labor force," he said. Speaking in a ceremony to mark International Workers' Day in Tehran on Sunday, Rouhani stressed the importance of developing a knowledge-based economy, IRNA reported.

"If we cannot compete with the world, we won't be able to gain sway over regional and international export markets. And if we cannot compete in the export market, we won't be able to enhance the quantity and quality of domestic products," he said.

The president highlighted his government's record since it came to power in 2013 and pledged to cut inflation below 10% in less than a year.

Rouhani said on his watch, inflation has followed a downward trend from 41% in his early days in office to 15% by March 2015 and to 12% a year later.

"According to official statistics, inflation has presently fallen to below 11% and will hit a single-digit rate in 11 months," he said, adding that his government plans to achieve a 5% economic growth in the same period.

  Investment Key to Development       

Pointing to the influx of foreign economic delegations seeking to establish a position in Iran's market after the nuclear deal with major powers took effect in January, the president said, "We cannot rebuild our economy unless we are able to absorb overseas investment."

The nuclear deal was signed with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) on July 14, 2015, to roll back Tehran's nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has removed a huge obstacle to the nation's development," Rouhani said, using the formal title of the pact. It discredited claims by domestic critics that a decade-long dispute cannot be settled at the negotiating table. Negotiations leading to the deal lasted for about two years.

"When we concluded the agreement with the six world powers, skeptics said the agreement was not implementable and when we celebrated the implementation day, they said the other side would not adhere to its commitments," he said.  

Moderate Rouhani and his negotiating team have been under fire by conservative rivals, who claim the JCPOA has failed to safeguard national interests and has conceded too much to the western side.