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Official says Iran needs to further integrate in world economy

Shiraz, Fars prov, May 1, IRNA-Deputy president and head of Management and Plan Organization (MPO) said in Shiraz on Saturday that Iran has suitable grounds for integrating in the world economy but needs to reform its domestic economic structure.

Speaking at the seminar on Iran and International Economy: Challenges and Opportunities", Hamid Reza Baradaran-Shoraka said that reducing dependency on oil revenues and production costs, closing the technology gap with the developed countries and achieving competitive prices are all prerequisite for having a solid economic performance.

To achieve such the needed prerequisites the economy should be transformed form inward-looking to an outword-looking structure, increase capital productivity and utilize international facilities and assistance, he said.

The MPO head said that the government's share of the economy is too high and "we need to reduce subsidies and boot private sector investments." Unfortunately, Iran's share of international trade is meager and our position in drawing foreign investments is "unsatisfactory." He then touched on figures indicating that by joining the international economy poverty is reduced and economic growth is increased.

Conversely, those nations which have had a negative outlook towards international trade an investments have seen their economy contract or achieve lower rate of growth, he added.

The conditions in our economy are ready for an economic leap.

Physical inventory of investments and capital, comparative advantage and geographical location has provided the opportunity for rapid economic advance.

These are necessary but insufficient factors and the country needs prudent and wise policies for realizing its economic potentials, aradaran-Shoraka added.

The two-day conference is held in the capital of Fars province, the historical city of Shiraz.

The conference is in line with the goals highlighted in the 20-year (2005-2025) vision plan and the policies underlined in the fourth development plan (2005-2010).

It is organized jointly by the Management and Planning Organization and Shiraz University.

The status of Iran's economy in the world, global economic and trade cycle as well as its impact on Iran's economy, Iran's non-oil exports and economic development, privatization, obstacles and strategies, the status of oil and gas industries in the growth and sustained economic development will be high on the agenda of the upcoming conference.

Assessment of Iran's economy for its qualification for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the approach of the upcoming fourth development plan towards globalization and the role of multinational companies in promoting Iran's economy will also be discussed in the event.

Beginning last year Iranian year (ended March 19) various centers have been formed in many provinces to attract foreign investments.

The centers will assist investors to better gauge the investments potentials of various regions.

Head of Iran Foreign Investments Affairs at the Economy and Finance ministry said here in February that Iran has the capacity of attracting dlrs five billion of foreign investments annually.

He stressed on the need for implementing economic reforms which will ave significant effects on domestic and foreign investments.

He further defended the current economic structure alluding to the valuation provided by various financial institutions in the recent past as saying that "Iran even in its current economic conditions can attract about five billion of foreign investments annually." Investments are carried out in various sectors including services, mining, industry, petrochemicals, chemicals and foodstuffs.

In other sector including telecommunications there also are proposals for foreign investments, he said. "In the transportation sector, there should be more financial incentives for investors to recoup their capital quicker."

... Payvand News - 5/1/05 ... --

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