Foreign Policy: IRAN INSISTS IT’S OPEN FOR BUSINESS

DAVOS, Switzerland —Mohammad Nahavandian, chief of staff to President Hassan Rouhani, predicted Iran’s economy could grow by 8 percent annually with the help of foreign investors who are no longer curbed by some U.S. sanctions that were lifted when the nuclear deal took effect last weekend.  FILE_27_1453639195_98260
“That’s feasible,” Nahavandian said of Iran’s predicted economic growth. He said foreign companies — in the energy sector, information and communications technology firms, and rail, air, and other transportation businesses — have expressed interest in investing.
“Of course, there are things to be done, and the administration is mindful of the fact that the business environment has to improve a great deal,” Nahavandian said. “And we’ve already started that.”
The 8 percent GDP prediction widened some eyes in Davos. The World Bank projects Iran’s GDP will grow by 5.8 percent this year.
U.S. firms, in particular, face a delicate dance to do business in Iran and still be in compliance with U.S. rules. It will likely take months until international businesses feel confident they can work in Iran without running afoul of the sanctions that are still in place.
Nahavandian said the absence of American companies means European firms have the opportunity to get into Iran’s energy market first. They also can help Iran build the infrastructure needed to help Tehran’s economy grow.

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