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Iran: Foreign investment rate to reach seven billion dollars

Tehran, Oct 16, IRNA-Director General of the Foreign Investment Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance Ahmad Jamali said on Monday that the foreign investment rate in the current Iranian year (started March 21) is expected to reach seven billion dollars.

He told IRNA that establishment of refineries and power plants are the major fields in which foreign investment is attracted in the current year.

"Besides, more foreign investment is expected to be attracted in other sectors including aluminum, agriculture, industries, public services and stock market," he added.

He also referred to approval of 13 projects -- seven primary and six secondary ones -- by the foreign investment panel over the last two weeks.

Jamali said that a 5.5 billion dollar credit is predicted to be allocated to these projects, adding that it is expected to be approved in the upcoming session.

"The national trend for attraction of foreign investment over the past year shows that Iran's economy has been one of the most basic economies attracting foreign investments over the past 15 years," he added.

The official said that the volume of foreign investment has been on the rise in the country since 1993.

Stating that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accounts for a major part of such investment over the past three years, he said that in 2003-2004 Germany stood first in this respect.

Expounding on a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), he pointed to Iran as the 29th signatory of international investment and tax agreements out of a total of 200 countries.

The UNCTAD report, which was issued in 2006, examines Iran's foreign investment situation in 2005.

Jamali said, "The report has been arranged based on assessment of the foreign investment situation in Iran and no reference has been made to the reports provided by Iran. However, the actual statistics are different from UNCTAD's assessment.

"Iran ranks third in this regard after Turkey and the UAE.

Meanwhile, it has a proper position among other countries both on the international and regional scenes." The official put the country's approved and imported investment over the past year at 4.5 and one billion dollars respectively.

"The report of Iran's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance to UNCTAD merely covers the investments made within the framework of the laws protecting foreign investment. It does not include the total volume of the country's' foreign investment in oil, gas and free trade zones," he added.

He added that there is no statistical information on Iran's investment in foreign countries.

... Payvand News - 10/16/06 ... --

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