Businesses Urged to Assist Economic Agenda

Businesses Urged to Assist Economic Agenda Businesses Urged to Assist Economic Agenda

President Hassan Rouhani called on the business community to help lend the government in its efforts to improve two key sectors of the economy, namely production and employment.

"Power, credibility and honor of the country are tied to promoting national production and generating jobs for the youth," the president was quoted as saying by his official website.

"All businesses, entrepreneurs, trade unions and banks should join hands with the government" to help move its production and employment plans forward, he said.

Rouhani made the call in a meeting with business leaders and stakeholders active in the economic sector in a feast of Iftar to break the Ramadan fast in Tehran on Saturday.

He pointed to the poor record of the previous administration in handling the job market, saying, "Unemployment is at the root of all other problems in the society."

"Regrettably between 2006 and 2012, only a few thousand net jobs were created with job numbers inching up from 20.61 million to 20.62 million. By comparison, over the past three years, around 450,000 jobs have been created annually."

***Far From Desirable

"But we are still far from our desired target," the president noted.

Rouhani took office in 2013 when the country was struggling with a litany of severe economic problems, including a huge budget deficit, from the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who served two terms.

He pledged to increase support for trade syndicates and entrepreneurs and help them fulfill their full potential as instrumental players in the domestic economy, including by easing cumbersome "administrative, banking and insurance rules and regulations."

Underlining the important role of the banking sector in addressing the problems of jobs and production, the president said, "A part of the problems afflicting the two areas will be addressed soon after the banking industry  normalizes interest rates."