Investment, Banking Overhaul Key to Job Growth

Investment, Banking Overhaul Key to Job GrowthInvestment, Banking Overhaul Key to Job Growth

President Hassan Rouhani said the much-needed boost in employment figures is contingent on attracting investments, streamlining the key banking sector and developing knowledge-based companies.

"In order to generate jobs we need to raise capital, overhaul the banking system, teach skills to the youth and develop knowledge-based firms," the president was quoted as saying by his official website on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a meeting the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had with the heads of the three branches of government.

The chief executive has faced strong criticism from his powerful conservative opponents for failing to carry out his pledge to revive the economy by tackling, among other things, the scourge of unemployment after four years in office.

The fierce conservative onslaught, however, could not deprive Rouhani of an extended mandate in last month's election.

His critics have strongly opposed his plans to capitalize on the opportunity to channel foreign investment into the untapped domestic market after the crippling economic sanctions were eased under a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

They argue that opening to international trade might give the some western powers the chance to establish a foothold in the country and continue with their hostile policies.

They claim Rouhani's nuclear negotiating team made too many concessions to the western side by accepting temporary curbs on the nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.    

Foreign firms and banks have frequently pointed to lack of transparency in Iran's banking sector and regulatory issues as among reasons why they stay clear of Iran's economy.

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