Rouhani Promises to Excel 5% Growth Target

Rouhani Promises to Excel 5% Growth TargetRouhani Promises to Excel 5% Growth Target

President Hassan Rouhani promised that his government will sustain the current economic upturn and steer the economy past the 5% growth target by March 2017.

The president was addressing a public gathering in the central province of Qazvin on Wednesday, reported.

Highlighting the trade surplus achieved in the agricultural and industrial sectors, Rouhani said, "I announced at the beginning of the current [Iranian] year [started March 20] that we are aiming at a 5% economic growth rate. Now I promise that the growth will exceed 5% by the yearend."

The Statistical Center of Iran reported mid-August that Iran's gross domestic product expanded by 4.4% in the first quarter of the current Iranian year compared with the same period of 2015.

The economy emerged from recession two years ago with a 3% growth. The rebound in economic output followed two years of recession when the economy contracted 5.8% and 1.9% back to back. Last year's growth was officially put at 0.9% by SCI.

The government's estimate of a 5% GDP growth this year is above World Bank's 4.2% and 4.6% estimates for 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The International Monetary Fund sees a 4-4.5% GDP growth over the medium term.

"All in the country should contribute to Iran's development. All indicators point to a growing economic trend," the president said.

Rouhani referred to negotiations leading to the 2015 nuclear deal with the six world powers and said, "We not only defended the rights of the Iranian nation, but also protected the rights of all developing countries against major powers."

The accord, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, went into force on January 16 to limit Tehran's nuclear work in return for granting it relief from international sanctions targeting economic sectors like oil and banking.

How to fully exploit the situation after JCPOA that has eased restrictions on entering Iran's lucrative market is a subject of "all negotiations across the world", the president said.

"Today … Iran is viewed as a major bulwark against the spread of terrorism in the world and region," he added.