Economy_of_Iran by zzzmarcus

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Economy of Iran

Economy of Iran
Economy of Iran Main export partners Imports Import goods nuts (2%), cars (2%), carpets (1%), technical services China 14.8%, Japan 14.2%, Turkey 7.3%, Italy 6.4%, South Korea 6.3% (2007) $67.79 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.); world ranking: 43rd industrial raw materials and intermediate goods (46%), capital goods (35%), foodstuffs and other consumer goods (19%), technical services China 14.3%, Germany 9.7%, UAE 9.2%, South Korea 5.8%, Russia 5.3%, Italy 5%, France 4% (2007) $20.68 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Main import partners Currency Fiscal year Trade organizations Statistics GDP GDP growth GDP per capita GDP by sector Inflation (CPI) Population below poverty line Labor force Unemployment Main industries Iranian Rial (IRR) Gross External Debt ECO, OPEC, WTO (observer) and others Public finances 21 March - 20 March Public Debt Revenues $859 billion (2008)[1]; world ranking: 17th (at PPP)[2] 6.4% (real-2007)[3]
note: 6.2% growth for 2009 projected [4]

17.2% of GDP (2007 est.) $104 billion (2007): 45% from oil exports, 31% from taxes, tariffs and fees, 20% from government properties and holdings (on exchange rate basis/not PPP)[6] $101 billion (2007): 6% health care, 16% education, 8% military, 40% subsidy payments (incl. gasoline, electricity, cement, steel, pharmaceuticals and wheat) and grants, 23% social services (of which 50% for pensions), 7% capital expenditures (on exchange rate basis/not PPP) $104 million (2005 est.)

Expenses $12,800 (2008 est.); world ranking: 88th (at PPP) agriculture (11%), industry (45.3%), services (43.7%) (2007) 24.3 % (2008)[5] 18% (2006) Economic aid

Main data source: CIA World Fact Book All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars 28.7 million (2006 est.); note: shortage of
skilled labor

External Exports Export goods

The economy of Iran is dominated by oil and gas exports which constituted 70% of government revenue and 80% of export earnings as artisan goods, petroleum, chemicals and of 2008.[6] It has a large public secpetrochemicals, car manufacturing, tor, with an estimated 60% of the economy agriculture, food processing, home directly controlled and centrally planned by appliances, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, the state.[7] A unique feature of Iran’s ecotextiles, minerals, metallurgy, armaments, electronics, energy, nomy is the large size of the religious foundations, construction and construction materials or Bonyads, whose combined budgets are said to make up as much as half that of the central government.[7][8] $106.4 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.); world Combination of price controls and subranking: 36th sidies, particularly on food and energy,[9][10] petroleum (80%), chemical and continue to weigh down the economy, and contraband, administrative controls, petrochemical products (4%), fruits and
12% according to the Iranian government (2008)


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widespread corruption, and other rigidities undermine the potential for private-sectorled growth.[11] High oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass nearly US$ 80 billion in foreign exchange reserves.[12] Yet this increased revenue has not eased economic hardships, which include double-digit unemployment and inflation; inflation climbed to 26% as of December 2008.[5] The economy has seen only moderate growth. Iran’s educated population, economic inefficiency, and insufficient foreign and domestic investment have prompted an increasing number of Iranians to seek employment overseas, resulting in significant "brain drain".

Economy of Iran
After the end of hostilities with Iraq in 1988, the government tried to develop the country’s communication, transportation, manufacturing, health care, education and energy infrastructures (including its prospective nuclear power facilities) and has begun the process of integrating its communication and transportation systems with those of neighboring states.[13] Iran’s sustained economic loss because of the war is estimated at $500 billion.[14]

Five-year economic development plan (2005-10)
See also: Management and Planning Organisation of Iran, Government of Iran, Supreme Audit Court of Iran, and Constitution of Iran The fourth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2005-10) sets the guidelines and points the direction which the trade sector will be taking over the next five years. The focus for the government has been on expanding trade interaction with the global community and pursuing an active presence in international markets. To achieve this would require raising exports substantially. Another area of focus has been to develop free trade zones and turning them into gateways to international markets.[15] On the domestic front, the priority has been to improve social justice by regulating the domestic market and maintaining a supply of basic commodities.[16][17] The latter would require improvements to the subsidy distribution system to relieve the government of the huge financial burden of subsidy payments. Another obligation the plan places on the government is to provide economic justification for the pricing of basic commodities and public services.[18] Iran is projected to produce 29 million tons of steel by the end of the Fourth Economic Development Plan (2005-2010) and 55 million tons by 2025.[19] The five-year economic development plan also calls for the creation of a "national Internet",[20] a target growth of 15% annually for the railroad network,[21] introduction of foreign banks, a fourfold expansion of petrochemical output to 56 million tons per year, downsizing of the public workforce by 5%,[22] the creation of 700,000 new jobs per year, [23] the

See also: History of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran’s brain drain, and Iranian citizens abroad Pre-revolutionary Iran’s economic development was rapid. Traditionally an agricultural society, by the 1970s, Iran had achieved significant industrialization and economic modernization. However, the pace of growth had slowed dramatically by 1978, just before the Islamic revolution. Iran’s long-term objectives since the 1979 revolution have been economic independence, full employment, and a comfortable standard of living for its citizens, but at the end of the 20th century the country’s economic future was lined with obstacles. Iran’s population more than doubled in a 20-year period, resulting in an increasingly young population. In a traditionally rural and agrarian country, agricultural production has fallen consistently since the 1960s. By the late 1990s, Iran was a major food importer, and economic hardship in the countryside had driven vast numbers of people to migrate to the largest cities. The rates of literacy and life expectancy in Iran are high for the region, but so, too, is the unemployment rate, and inflation is regularly in the range of 20% annually. Iran remains highly dependent on its one major industry, the extraction of petroleum and natural gas for export, and the government faces increasing difficulty in providing opportunities for a younger, better-educated workforce. This has led to a growing sense of frustration among lower- and middle-class Iranians.


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generation of 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity through nuclear technology by 2010 to meet its increasing demand for energy, and the establishment of 50-60 industrial parks by the end of the fifth Five-Year Socioeconomic Development Plan by 2015.[24] Turning to "Vision 2025", the plan has set an investment target of $3.7 trillion within two decades of which $1.3 trillion should be in the form of foreign investment.[25] According to the Ministry of Mines and Industry in November 2008:[26] • Over 300 trillion rials will be invested in the industrial sector by March 2009 (1 dollar is about 10,000 rials). • The government will implement 1,153 industrial projects at a total cost of 130.2 trillion rials by the end of the Iranian year that began on 20 March 2008. • Meanwhile, over 90 trillion rials and 70.2 trillion rials will be invested in the sector by the private and state-run companies respectively. • Cement production capacity will increase from 54 million tons to 64 million tons once eight cement factories become operational. • Steel production capacity will reach 17 million tons from the previous 10 million tons after the private and state projects come on stream (March 2009) and 40 million tons in 2012.[27] • Aluminum and copper production will hit 245,000 and 383,000 tons respectively by March 2009. • The country also plans to increase hardcoal production to 5 million tons in 2012 from 2 million tons in 2008.[27]

Economy of Iran

Iran’s economy is largely state owned. However the government continues in its drive towards privatization and economic liberalization. in the public sector, while most light industry was privately owned. According to Article 44 of the Constitution, the economy of Iran is to consist of three sectors: state, cooperative, and private, and is to be based on systematic and sound planning. The state sector is to include all large-scale industries, foreign trade, major minerals, banking, insurance, power generation, dams and large-scale irrigation networks, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone services, aviation, shipping, roads, railroads and the like; all these will be publicly owned and administered by the State. The cooperative sector is to include cooperative companies (Bonyads) and enterprises concerned with production and distribution, in urban and rural areas, in accordance with Islamic criteria. 120,000 cooperatives are in operation across the country employing about 15 million people.[28] The private sector consists of those activities concerned with construction, agriculture, animal husbandry, industry, trade, and services that supplement the economic activities of the state and cooperative sectors. A strict interpretation of the above has never been enforced in the Islamic Republic and the private sector has been able to play a much larger role than is outlined in the Constitution. In recent years, the role of the private sector has been further on the increase. Furthermore, an amendment of the article in 2004 has allowed 80% of state assets to be privatized, 40% of which will be conducted through the "Justice Shares" scheme and the rest through the Bourse Organization. The government will keep the title of the remaining 20%.[29][30]

Centralization and privatization
See also: List of Major Iranian Companies The Iranian Government declared its intention to privatize most state industries after the Iran–Iraq War in 1988, in an effort to stimulate the ailing economy. The sale of state-owned factories and companies proceeded slowly, however, mostly because of opposition by a nationalist majority in Majlis, the Iranian parliament. Most industries, comprising 70% of the economy in 2006, remained state-owned. The majority of heavy industry—including steel, petrochemicals, copper, automobiles, and machine tools—was


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Year Gross Domestic Product 1980 6,621,700 1985 16,555,801 1990 34,505,630 1995 185,927,978 2000 580,473,336 2005 1,768,665,370 PPP ($ Billion) 98.797 186.782 206.768 206.768 373.725 554.775 US dollar Exchange 207.29 Iranian Rials 415.60 Iranian Rials 2,046.80 Iranian Rials 6,019.01 Iranian Rials 9,005.01 Iranian Rials

Economy of Iran
Inflation Index (2000=100) 4.40 11 43 100 194

70.61 Iranian Rials 2.10

Macro-economic trends
See also: Next Eleven and Demographics of Iran In the early 21st century the service sector contributed the largest percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), followed by industry (mining and manufacturing) and agriculture. In 2008, about 55% of the government’s budget came from oil and natural gas revenues, and 31% came from taxes and fees.[31] In 2008 the GDP was estimated at $382.3 billion ($852.6 billion at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)), or $5,470 per capita ($12,300 at PPP).[32] The informal economy is also important. Because of these figures and the country’s diversified but small industrial base, the United Nations classifies Iran’s economy as semideveloped (1998). According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran will need $70 to $75 a barrel for its crude to balance its budget in 2008-2009.[33] Iran had approximately $97 billion in foreign reserves at the start of 2009.[34] Surveys show Iranians consumes fruits four times more than the global standards, and being a plus-70 million nation, they use liquefied natural gas as much as a country with a population of 250 million. Despite critical water shortage, Iranians use more than double the amount of water used by Europeans and their energy consumption is 6.5 times that of global average. The same goes with meat and soft drink consumption, and the amount of money an Iranian tourist spends on souvenirs during a foreign trip. Besides, it is estimated that 18.5% of electricity generated in Iran are wasted before it

reaches consumers due to technical problems.[35] The following is the trend chart of the Iranian GDP at market prices estimated by the IMF with figures in millions of Iranian rial.[36] For PPP comparisons, the US dollar is exchanged at 3,149.33 Iranian rials only.

Iran’s population reached 70 million in 2006. More than two-thirds of the Iranians are under the age of 30, and the literacy rate stands above 80%.

Sectors of the economy
See also: Labor and tax laws in Iran and Bonyad Agriculture contributes just over 11% to the gross national product and employs a third of the labor force. The industrial sector—including mining, manufacturing, and construction—contributed 42% of the GDP and employed 31% of the labor force in 2004. Mineral products, notably petroleum, dominate Iran’s exports revenues (80%), but mining employs less than 1% of the country’s labor force. In 2004 the service sector ranked as the largest contributor to the GDP (48%) and employed 44% of workers. In 2005, Iranian women accounted for 33% of the workforce


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Economy of Iran
state, and since 1979 strikes have often been met by police action. The comprehensive Labor Law covers all labor relations in Iran, including hiring of local and foreign staff. The Labor Law provides a very broad and inclusive definition of the individuals it covers, and written, oral, temporary and indefinite employment contracts are all recognized. The Iranian Labor Law is very employeefriendly and makes it extremely difficult to layoff staff. Employing personnel on consecutive six-month contracts is illegal, as is dismissing staff without proof of a serious offence. Labor disputes are settled by a special labor council, which usually rules in favor of the employee.[41] Social protection covers the employees between the age of 18 and 65 years, and the financing is shared between the employee (7% of the wages), the employer (20-23%) and the State (which supplements the contribution of the employer up to a total value of 3%). Social protection is extended to the selfemployed workers, who voluntarily contribute between 12% and 18% of their income depending on the protection sought. The social security makes it possible to ensure the employees against unemployment, the disease, old age (retirement pension), the occupational accidents. Iran did not legislate in favour of a universal social protection, but in 1996, the Center of the statistics of Iran estimates that more than 73% of the Iranian population is covered by social security. Civil servants, the regular military, law enforcement agencies, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s second major military organization, have their own pension systems. In 2003 the minimum standard pension was 50% of the worker’s earnings but not less than the amount of the minimum wage. Iran spent 22.5% of its 2003 national budget on social welfare programs. More than 50% of that amount covered pensions. Welfare programs for the needy are managed by more than 30 individual public agencies, and semi-state organizations called Bonyads, as well as by several private nongovernmental organizations. In 2003, the government began to consolidate its welfare organizations in an effort to eliminate redundancy and inefficiency. Bonyads are a consortium of over 120 organizations which are tax-exempt, receive government subsidies and religious donations and answer

The share of Iran’s oil sector in the GDP increased from 15% in 2002 to 25% in 2006, mainly because of a sharp increase in the price of oil.[37] (out of 25 million people). In 2006, the average annual salary for Iranian nationals was $2,700.[38]According to experts, annual economic growth above five per cent would be needed to keep pace with the 900,000 new labor force entrants each year. Migrant Iranian workers abroad remitted less than $2 billion home in 2006.[39] There is a minimum national wage applicable to each sector of activity fixed by the Supreme Labor Council. In 2005 the minimum wage, determined by the Supreme Labor Council, was about US$120 per month (US$1,440 per year). Membership in the social security system for all employees is compulsory.[40] Although Iranian workers have, in theory, a right to form labor unions, there is, in actuality, no union system in the country. Workers are represented ostensibly by the Workers’ House, a state-sponsored institution that nevertheless attempts to challenge some state policies. Guild unions operate locally in most areas but are limited largely to issuing credentials and licenses. The right of workers to strike is generally not respected by the


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directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran. They control over 20% of Iran’s GDP and they are involved in everything from vast soybean and cotton fields to hotels to soft drinks to automanufacturing to shipping lines. Bonyads are overstaffed, corrupt, and generally not profitable.[42] In 2007, Iran had 12 million people living below the poverty line. Six million of these people were not supported by any foundation or organization.[43]

Economy of Iran
programs of modernization, mechanization, and crop and livestock improvement, and programs for the redistribution of land are increasing agricultural production.[45] Wheat, the most important crop, is grown mainly in the west and northwest; rice is the major crop in the Caspian region. Barley, corn, cotton, sugar beets, tea, hemp, tobacco, fruits (including citrus), potatoes, legumes (beans and lentils), vegetables, fodder plants (alfalfa and clover), spices (including cumin, sumac, and saffron (world’s largest producer)), nuts (pistachios (world’s largest producer), almonds, and walnuts), and dates are also grown, and livestock is raised. Livestock products include lamb, goat meat, beef, poultry, milk, eggs, butter, cheese, wool, and leather. Honey is collected from beehives, and silk is harvested from silkworm cocoons. The northern slopes of the Alborz mountains are heavily wooded, and forestry products are economically important; the cutting of trees is rigidly controlled by the government, which also has a reforestation program. The rivers that drain into the Caspian Sea are fished for salmon, salmon, carp, trout, pike and sturgeon.[45] Since 1979 commercial farming has replaced subsistence farming as the dominant mode of agricultural production. By 1997, the gross value of products in Iran’s agricultural sector had reached $25 billion. Iran has attained 90% self-sufficiency in essential agricultural products; total rice production fails to meet domestic food requirements, however, making substantial imports necessary. In 2007 Iran reached self-sufficiency in wheat production, and for the first time became a net wheat exporter.[46] By 2003, a quarter of Iran’s non-oil exports were agricultural based.[47] Major agricultural exports include fresh and dried fruits, nuts, animal hides, processed foods, and spices.

See also: Geography of Iran and Environmental issues in Iran About 20% of the land in Iran is arable. The main food-producing areas are in the Caspian region and in the valleys of the northwest. Some northern and western areas support rain-fed agriculture, while other areas require irrigation for successful crop production.[44]

Agriculture contributes just over 11% to the gross national product and employs a third of the labor force. By 1997, the gross value of products in Iran’s agricultural sector reached $25 billion and by 2003, a quarter of Iran’s non-oil exports were agricultural based. The principal obstacles to agricultural production are primitive farming methods, overworked and underfertilized soil, poor seed, and scarcity of water. About one third of the cultivated land is irrigated; the construction of multipurpose dams and reservoirs along the rivers in the Zagros and Alborz mountains has increased the amount of water available for irrigation. Agricultural

See also: Iranian art, National Iranian Petrochemical Company, IDRO, Iran Electronics Industries (IEI), Iran Aviation Industries Organization, Iranian Space Agency, and Environmental issues in Iran Iran has a long tradition of producing artisan goods, including Persian carpets, ceramics, copperware and brassware, glass, leather goods, textiles, and woodwork. Iran’s rich carpet-weaving tradition dates from pre-


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Islamic times, and it remains an important industry and contributes substantially to rural incomes. There is an estimated population of 1.2 million weavers in Iran producing carpets for domestic markets and international export.[48] Iran exports more than $500 million worth of hand-woven carpets each year (2008).[49] Textile mills, based on domestic cotton and wool, employed about 400,000 people in 2000 and are centred in Tehran, Esfahan and along the Caspian coast. Large-scale manufacturing in factories began in the 1920s and developed gradually. During the Iran–Iraq War, Iraq bombed many of Iran’s petrochemical plants, and the large oil refinery at Abadan was badly damaged and forced to halt production. Reconstruction of the refinery began in 1988 and production resumed in 1993. However, the war also stimulated the growth of many small factories producing import-substitution goods and materials needed by the military. The country’s major manufactured products are petrochemicals (with a fertilizer plant in Shiraz), steel (with mills in Esfahan and Khuzestan), and copper products. Other important manufactures include automobiles (with production crossing the 1 million mark in 2005), [50] home and electric appliances (television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, and other consumer items), telecommunications equipment, cement, industrial machinery (Iran has the largest operational stock of industrial robots in West Asia),[51] paper, rubber products, agricultural products and processed foods (including refined sugar and vegetable oil), leather products and pharmaceuticals. In 2006, 55 pharmaceutical companies in Iran produced more than 96% (quantitatively) of medicines on the market worth $1.2 billion annually.[52][53]

Economy of Iran

Iran’s automobile production crossed the 1 million mark in 2005. Iran Khodro is the largest car manufacturer in the Middle-East. It has established joint-ventures with foreign partners on 4 continents. Khodro, Raniran, Traktorsazi, Shahab Khodro, and others together produced only 6%.[54] These automakers produce a wide range of automobiles including motorbikes, passenger cars, vans, mini trucks, medium sized trucks, heavy duty trucks, minibuses, large size buses and other heavy automobiles used in commercial and private activities in the country. Iran ranked the world’s 16th biggest automaker in 2006 and has a fleet of 7 million cars, which translates to almost one car per ten persons in the country (including trucks and buses).[55][56] Iran car exports are projected to reach $1 billion by March 2009.[57]

Defense industry
Iran’s 2005 defense budget was estimated to be $6.3 billion (3.3% of GDP) by London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies or $91 per capita. Iran’s defense industry has taken great strides in the past 25 years, and now manufactures many types of arms and equipment. Since 1992, Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, guided missiles, submarines, and a fighter plane.[58] As of 2006, Iran had exported weapons to 57 countries, including NATO members, and sold $100 million worth of military equipment abroad.[59][60]

Automobile manufacturing
See also: Iranian automobile industry As of 2001, there were 13 public and privately owned automakers within Iran, of which two - Iran Khodro and Saipa - accounted for 94% of the total domestic production. Iran Khodro, which produced the most prevalent car brand in the country - the Paykan, which has been replaced in 2005 by the Samand -, was still the largest with 61% of the market in 2001, while Saipa contributed 33% of Iran’s total production in the same year. The other car manufacturers, such as the Bahman Group, Kerman Motors, Kish

See also: Water supply and sanitation in Iran, Iranian architecture, and Milad Tower


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The annual turnover in the construction industry amounted to $38.4 billion in 2005.[61] Until the early 1950s the construction industry was limited largely to small domestic companies. Increased income from oil and gas and the availability of easy credit, however, triggered a subsequent building boom that attracted major international construction firms to Iran. This growth continued until the mid-1970s, when, because of a sharp rise in inflation, credit was tightened and the boom collapsed. The construction industry had revived somewhat by the mid-1980s, but housing shortages and speculation have remained serious problems, especially in the large urban centres as well as the poor quality of many constructions, which need anti-seismic reinforcement and/or renovation.[62] Iran has a large dam building industry.[63] Today 70% of the Iranians own homes.[64] Construction is one of the most important sectors in Iran accounting for 20–50% of the total private investment. One of the prime investment targets of well off Iranians as tangible.

Economy of Iran
Energy wastage in Iran amounts to six or seven billion dollars (2008). The energy consumption in the country is extraordinarily higher than international standards. Iran recycles 28% of its used oil and gas whereas the figure for certain countries stands at 60%.[65] Iran paid $84 billion in subsidies for oil, gas and electricity in 2008.[66] Iran holds 10% of the world’s proven oil reserves. Iran also has the world’s second largest reserves of natural gas (15% of the world’s total), mainly in South Pars; these are exploited primarily for domestic use. Since 1913 Iran has been a major oil exporting country. The chief oil fields are found in the central and southwestern parts of the Zagros mountains in western Iran. Oil also is found in northern Iran and in the offshore waters of the Persian Gulf. Domestic oil and gas, along with hydroelectric power facilities, provide the country with power. Iran built its first $1 billion nuclear power plant in Bushehr in March 2009, called Bushehr 1.[67] In the late 1970s, it ranked as the fourth largest oil producer (OPEC’s second largest oil producer) and the second largest oil exporter in the world. Following the 1979 revolution, however, the government reduced daily oil production in accordance with an oil conservation policy. Further production declines occurred as result of damage to oil facilities during the imposed war with Iraq. Oil production began increasing in the late 1980s due to the repair of damaged pipelines and the exploitation of newly discovered offshore oil fields in the Persian Gulf. Major refineries are located at Abadan (site of the country’s first refinery, built 1913), Kermanshah, and Tehran but fail to meet domestic demand for gasoline. The oil refining industry of the country needs a $15 billion investment for its development over the next 5 years to become self-sufficient and end imports. [68] Pipelines move oil from the fields to the refineries and to such exporting ports as Abadan, Bandar-e Mashur, and Kharg Island. In the late 1990s, Iran’s stateowned oil and gas industry entered into major exploration and production agreements with foreign consortia, notably in Asalouyeh among other projects. By 2004, Iran’s annual oil production was 1.4 billion barrels, creating a net profit of $50 billion.[69] Iran manufactures 50-80% of its industrial equipment domestically, including refineries, oil tankers, oil rigs, offshore

Energy, gas, petroleum and petrochemicals
See also: National Iranian Oil Company, Asalouyeh, Iranian Oil Bourse, and Iranian nuclear program

Iran holds 10% of the world’s proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas. It is OPEC’s second largest exporter and the world’s fourth oil producer.


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platforms and exploration instruments.[70][71] In February 2008 the Iranian Oil Bourse was inaugurated in Kish Island to trade crude oil and petrochemical products.[72] The transactions are made in the Iranian rial and other major currencies (except for USD).[73]

Economy of Iran

Iran’s mining industry is under-developed. Mineral production contributes only 0.6% to the country’s GDP. Add other mining-related industries and this figure increases to just 4%. Many factors have contributed to this, namely lack of suitable infrastructure, legal barriers, exploration difficulties, and government control over all resources.[74] Although the petroleum industry provides the majority of economic revenues, about 75% of all mining sector employees work in mines producing minerals other than oil and natural gas. These include coal, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromium, barite, salt, gypsum, molybdenum, strontium, silica, uranium, and gold (most as a coproduct of the Sar Cheshmeh copper complex operations). The mines at Sar Cheshmeh in Kerman Province contain the world’s second largest lode of copper ore. Large iron ore deposits lie in central Iran, near Bafq, Yazd, and Kerman. The government owns 90% of all mines and related large industries in Iran and is seeking foreign investment for the development of the mining sector. In the steel and copper sectors alone, the government is seeking to raise around $1.1 billion in foreign financing.[75]

Iran currently ranks 68th in tourism revenues worldwide. Iran with attractive natural and historical sites is rated among the 10 most touristic countries in the world.[76]Iranian hospitality and culture are some of the unique and distinctive features of its people. the population was covered by the voluntary national health insurance system. Although over 85% of the population use an insurance system to reimburse their drug expenses, the government heavily subsidises pharmaceutical production/importation in order to increase affordability of medicines and vaccines. The total market value of Iran’s health and medical sector was almost $240 billion in 2002 and was forecast to rise to $310 billion by 2007.[79] Despite efforts in the 1990s toward economic liberalization, government spending—including expenditures by quasi-governmental foundations (Bonyad) that dominate the economy—has been high. Estimates of service sector spending in Iran are regularly more than two-fifths of the GDP, and much of that is government-related spending, including military expenditures, government salaries, and social service disbursements.

See also: Education in Iran, Higher Education in Iran, Science in Iran, List of Iranian Research Centers, Health care in Iran, and Tourism in Iran Urbanization has contributed to significant growth in the service sector. Important service industries include public services (including education), commerce, personal services, professional services, and tourism. Iran’s national science budget is about $900 million (2005) and it has not been subject to any significant increase since 15 years ago.[77] Iran allocates around 0.4% of its GDP to R&D, which ranks it "far behind industrialized societies".[78] The constitution entitles Iranians to basic health care. In the early 2000s, about 65% of


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The tourist industry declined dramatically during the war with Iraq in the 1980s but has subsequently revived. About 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004; most came from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, while a small share came from the countries of the European Union and North America. The most popular tourist destinations are Esfahan, Mashhad, and Shiraz. In the early 2000s the industry still faced serious limitations in infrastructure, communications, regulatory norms, and personnel training.[80] The majority of the 300,000 tourist visas granted in 2003 were obtained by Asian Muslims, who presumably intended to visit important pilgrimage sites in Mashhad and Qom. Several organized tours from Germany, France, and other European countries come to Iran annually to visit archaeological sites and monuments. Iran currently ranks 68th in tourism revenues worldwide. Iran with attractive natural and historical sites is rated among the 10 most touristic countries in the world. Close to 1.8% of national employment is generated in the tourism sector which is slated to increase to 10% in the next five years.[81]

Economy of Iran
four thousand wealthy/connected individuals who don’t always repay their loans.[82][83] The government began to privatize the banking sector in 2001, when it issued licenses to two new privately owned banks. Iranian reserves in foreign banks in mid-February 2008 reached over $81 billion.[84] The Tehran Stock Exchange trades the shares of more than 400 registered companies. The stock market capitalisation of listed companies in Iran was valued at $70 billion in 2008.[85] According to experts, the economy of Iran has many investment opportunities, particularly on its stock exchange.[86] Iran’s electronic commerce will reach 10,000 billion rials ($1 billion) by March 2009.[87]

Communications and IT
The government runs the broadcast media, which includes five national radio stations and five national television networks, as well as dozens of local radio and television stations. In 2000 there were 252 radios and 158 television sets in use for every 1,000 residents. There were 219 telephone lines and 110 personal computers for every 1,000 residents. Computers for home use became more affordable in the mid-1990s, and since then demand for access to the Internet has increased rapidly, where Iran has now the world’s fourth largest number of bloggers. In 1998 the Ministry of Post, Telegraph & Telephone (renamed Ministry of Information & Communication Technology) began selling Internet accounts to the general public. In 2006, the Iranian telecom industry’s revenues were estimated at $1.2 billion.[88] Iran currently has 1,223 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) all private sector operated.[89] According to the Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC), the information and communications technology (ICT) sector had a 1.1-1.3% share of GDP in 2002. About 150,000 people are employed in the ICT sector, including around 20,000 in the software industry.[90] There were 1,200 registered information technology (IT) companies in 2002, 200 of which were involved in software development. Software exports stood around $50 million in 2008. [91]

Banking system
See also: Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian Rial, Shetab Banking System, and Tehran Stock Exchange The government makes loans and credits available to industrial and agricultural projects, primarily through banks. Iran’s unit of currency is the rial. The official exchange rate averaged 8,614 rials to the U.S. dollar in 2004. However, rials are exchanged on the unofficial market at a higher rate. In 1979, the government nationalized all private banks and announced the establishment of a banking system whereby, in accordance with Islamic law, interest on loans was replaced with handling fees; the system went into effect in the mid-1980s. The banking system consists of the central bank also known as Bank Markazi, which issues currency and oversees all state and private banks; several commercial banks that are headquartered in Tehran but have branches throughout the country; two development banks; and a housing bank that specializes in home mortgages. Accounts of the state-owned commercial banks are dominated by loans to state and Bonyad enterprises, large-scale private firms and

See also: Tehran Metro, Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Iran Shipping Lines, and Airlines of Iran


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Economy of Iran
Plan, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747

Tehran is the hub of the country’s communication and transport network. The city has numerous large museums, art centers, palace complexes and cultural centers and host 45% of Iran’s industries. Iran has an extensive paved road system linking most of its towns and all of its cities. In 2007 the country had 178,152 kilometers (111,000 mi) of roads, of which 66% were paved. There were 55 passenger cars for every 1,000 inhabitants. Trains operated on 11,106 km (6,942 mi) of railroad [92][93][94] track. The country’s major port of entry is Bandar-Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz. After arriving in Iran, imported goods are distributed throughout the country by trucks and freight trains. The Tehran-Bandar-Abbas railroad, opened in 1995, connects Bandar-Abbas to the railroad system of Central Asia via Tehran and Mashhad. Other major ports include Bandar Anzali and Bandar e-Torkeman on the Caspian Sea and Korramshahr and Bandar Imam Khomeini on the Persian Gulf. Dozens of cities have airports that serve passenger and cargo planes. Iran Air, the national airline, was founded in 1962 and operates domestic and international flights. All large cities have mass transit systems using buses, and several private companies provide bus service between cities. Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Ahvaz and Esfahan are in the process of constructing underground mass transit rail lines. More than one million people work in the transportation sector, accounting for 9% of GDP (2008).[95]

Iranian exports in 2006. Part of the non-oil exports are rising as the country is moving towards industrial diversification. Pistachios, liquefied propane, methanol (methyl alcohol), hand-woven carpets and automobiles are the core items of Iran’s non-oil exports. Petroleum constitutes the bulk of Iran’s exports (80%), valued at $46.9 billion in 2006.[96] Iran’s non-oil exports stood at $16.3 billion in the year ending March 20, 2007, a rise of 47.2% from the previous period.[97] Pistachios, liquefied propane, methanol (methyl alcohol,) hand-woven carpets and automobiles are the core items of Iran’s nonoil exports.[98] Iran’ s export of technical and engineering services in 2007-08 was $2.7 billion; 40% of the export of technical services pertains to Central Asia and the Caucasus. About 30%, equivalent to $350 million, to Iraq, and close to 20% ($205 million) to Africa and North Africa.[99] The total volume of imports to Iran rose by 189% from $13.7 billion in 2000 to an estimated $39.7 billion in 2005.[100] Iran’s major commercial partners are China, India, Germany, South Korea, Japan, France, Russia and Italy. Iran’s trade with India crossed US$13 billion in 2007, an 80% increase in trade volume within a year.[101] From 1950 until 1978, the United States was Iran’s foremost economic and military partner; thus participating greatly in the modernization of its infrastructure and industry. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 though, the United States ended its economic and diplomatic ties, banned Iranian oil imports and froze $12 billion of its assets. In 1996, the U.S. Government passed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) which prohibits U.S. (and non-U.S. companies) from investing and trading with Iran for more than $20 million annually,[102] with the exception, since 2000, for items like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, caviar and Persian rugs.

Foreign trade and economic relations
See also: Economic Cooperation Organization, Developing 8 Countries, Colombo


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Economy of Iran
investments, and then received remuneration from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in the form of an allocated production share, then transferred operation of the field to NIOC after a set number of years, at which time the contract was completed. Foreign investment has been hindered by unfavorable or complex operating requirements and by international sanctions, although in the early 2000s the Iranian government liberalized investment regulations. Iran absorbed $24.3 billion of foreign investment from Iranian calendar year 1993 to 2007.[106] Foreign direct investment in Iran hit a record $10.2 billion in 2007 from $4.2 billion in 2005 and $2 million in 1994.[107] Foreign transactions with Iran amounted to $150 billion worth of major contracts between 2000 and 2007, including private and government lines of credit.[108] In 2007, Iran had $62 billion worth of assets abroad.[109] Firms from over 50 countries have invested in Iran, with Asia and Europe receiving the largest share. Asian firms have invested over $11.6 billion in 190 Iranian projects, with those from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leading the way, followed by Singapore, Indonesia and Oman. Over 20 European countries, particularly Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, made investments worth over $10.9 billion in 253 projects. The UK, Turkey, Italy and France also have had a great share in Iranian investments. Companies from Canada, Panama, the USA and Jamaica are also involved in seven economic projects in Iran, valued over $1.4 billion. Investors from Mauritius, Liberia and South Africa have invested a combined total of $8 billion in Iran. In addition, Australia has invested $682 million in an Iranian project.[110] Foreign investors have concentrated their activity in a few sectors of the economy: energy, vehicle manufacture, copper mining, construction, utilities, petrochemicals, clothing, food and beverages, telecom, and pharmaceuticals.

Map of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states which is headquartered in Tehran. Since the mid 90’s, Iran has increased its economic cooperation with other developing countries in "south-south integration" including Syria, India, China, South Africa, Cuba and Venezuela. Iran is expanding its trade ties with Turkey and Pakistan and shares with its partners the common objective for the creation of a single economic market in West and Central Asia called ECO. Since 2003, Iran has increasingly invested in the economy and reconstruction of its neighboring countries like in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Dubai, UAE, it is estimated that Iranian expatriates are handling over 20% of its domestic economy with an equal proportion of its population.[103][104] Money is invested in the local real estate market and import-export businesses, collectively known as the Bazaar, and geared towards providing Iran and other countries with the demanded consumer goods. In 2006, the combined net worth of the Iranian citizens abroad was about 1.3 trillion dollars.[105] Since 2006, Iran’s Nuclear Program has become the subject of contention with the West because of suspicions regarding Iran’s military intentions. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene.

Foreign direct investment
See also: Foreign Direct Investment in Iran, Assalouyeh, Tehran International Fair, and Sanctions against Iran In the 1990s and early 2000s, some indirect oilfield development agreements were made with foreign firms. Buyback contracts in the oil sector, for instance, were arranged in which the contractor funded all the

Iran and the World Trade Organization
See also: Group of 15 and Iran and copyright issues Iran has an observer status at the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2005. The United States has consistently blocked Iran’s


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bid to join the WTO since Tehran first asked for membership several years ago.[111] Yet, if Iran does eventually gain membership status in the WTO, among other prerequisites, copyright laws will have to be obeyed in Iran. This would require a major overhaul of business and trade operations in Iran, a change which many experts believe would be a price too heavy for Iran’s economy to pay at the present time. Still, Iran is hoping to attract billions of dollars worth of foreign investment while creating a more favorable investment climate, such as reduced restrictions and duties on imports and the creation of free trade zones like in Qeshm, Chabahar and Kish Island.

Economy of Iran

[1] IMF - Iran’s entry Retrieved December 5, 2008 [2] IMF ranking (GDP by country at PPP)Retrieved April 10, 2009 [3] Iran’s 2007 GDP growth rate at 6.9% last year Retrieved 28 January 2009 [4] The Economist/IEU: Higher economic growth this year Retrieved 28 July 2008 [5] ^ Iran holds inflation record in ME retrieved November 30, 2008 [6] ^ IRNA: Crude price pegged at dlrs 39.6 a barrel under next year’s budget Retrieved December 5, 2008 [7] ^ Economist, Jan 18, 2003 [8] Abrahamian, History of Modern Iran, (2008), p.178 [9] "U.S. targets Iran’s vulnerable oil". Los Angeles Times. 2007-01-08. view/205986/3/. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. [10] "Energy subsidies reach $84b". IranDaily. 2007-01-08. Retrieved on 2008-04-27. [11] "Iran’s entry". Central Intelligence Agency. February 24, 2009. the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-01. [12] "Forex Reserves Reach $80b". Iran Daily. December 4, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-03-01. [13] "Iranian Economy in Six Snapshots". Payam-e Emruz; Economic, Social, Cultural (Monthly). 2001-02-23. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. [14] MSN Encarta: Iran-Iraq War Retrieved January 29, 2009 [15] "Trade Perspective". Iran Daily. 2006-02-21. 2504/html/focus.htm. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. [16] Iran Daily: Fifth Plan’s Focus On JusticeOriented Development Retrieved October 16, 2008 [17] [ Iran%20MDG%20Report%202004.pdf "The First Millennium Development Goals Report Islamic Republic of Iran"] (PDF). The Management and Planning Organization and the United Nations.

Further reading
• Contemporary Iran: Economy, Society, Politics - Dr. Ali Gheissari, Oxford University Press (2009) • Normalization of Economic Relations: Consequences for Iran’s Economy and the United States- (US) National Foreign Trade Council (2008) • New Plan Focus On Subsidies - Iran daily (2008) • Gov’t Set to Change Economic Course Iran daily (2008) • Iran and its Economy - Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar (2008) • Iran – Ambitious modernization program for the Tehran Stock Exchange - Global Investment House (2007) • Ahmadinejad’s Achilles Heel: The Iranian Economy - Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar (2007)

See also
• • • • • • • • • • Labour and tax laws in Iran List of Major Iranian Companies Iranian Calendar History of the Islamic Republic of Iran Government of Iran - With links to ministries and affiliated agencies Foreign relations of Iran - bilateral info on trade (by country) Iran travel guide from Wikitravel (for business etiquette and tourism) Mehdi Sahraian (famous Iranian economist) Bonyad - Iran’s religious foundations NIOC Recent Discoveries • Azadegan • Yadavaran


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2004-11-01. Iran%20MDG%20Report%202004.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. [18] "Five-Year Economic Development Plan 2005-10 (1384-1388)" (PDF). The Management and Planning Organization. 2004-09-01. english/bar-4.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. [19] Iran Daily: Supportive Industrial Laws Needed Retrieved November 2, 2008 [20] Nat’l Internet Network Approved Retrieved 12 February 2008 [21] Railroad Capacity Shy of Demand retrieved 12 February 2008 [22] Privatization In Focus Retrieved 12 February 2008 [23] COUNTRY PROFILE: IRAN March 2006 Retrieved 12 February 2008 [24] [1] retrieved 12 February 2008 [25] GDP Should Reach $1,200b Retrieved 12 February 2008 [26] IRNA:Iran: $30 Billion Dollar to be invested in industry Retrieved November 15, 2008 [27] ^ Iran Plans to Produce 250,000 Tons of Copper in Year to March retrieved November 28, 2008 [28] 120,000 cooperatives operating in Iran retrieved June 30, 2008 [29] Justice Shares Payment SoonRetrieved December 25, 2008 [30] "BBC". BBC. 2006-07-16. story/2006/07/060716_ra-rmarticle44.shtml. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. [31] Iran: Crude price pegged at dlrs 39.6 a barrel under next year’s budget Retrieved 30 January 2008 [32] [2] [33] html/economy.htm Iran Daily:Call for Import Cuts Retrieved October 20, 2008 [34] [3] [35] Iran daily:Energy Wastage Criticized Retrieved April 15, 2009 [36] IMF World Economic Outlook database Retrieved 12 February 2008 [37] Statistical Centre of Iran [38] Morning Call. CNBC. 16 June 2007. [39] Overseas Workers Remit Over $2b Retrieved 12 February 2008 [40] Rouznameh, Rasmi (November 20, 1990). "Labour Code". International Labour Organization.

Economy of Iran
dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/21843/64830/ E90IRN01.htm. Retrieved on 2009-03-01. [41] Rouznameh, Rasmi (November 20, 1990). "Labour Code". International Labour Organization. dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/21843/64830/ E90IRN01.htm. Retrieved on 2009-03-01. [42] "Ahmadinejad’s Achilles Heel: The Iranian Economy" by Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar Retrieved 12 February 2008 [43] Tehran Times - Poverty in Iran Retrieved 12 February 2008 [44] Library Of Congress: Country Profile Iran Retrieved April 7, 2008 [45] ^ [ external/default/WDSContentServer/ WDSP/IB/1994/06/20/ 000009265_3961004234937/Rendered/ PDF/multi_page.pdf World bank: Iran Services for Agriculture and Rural Development] Retrieved April 7, 2008 [46] Iran Daily: Trade With PGCC To Improve Retrieved April 7, 2008 [47] [4] Retrieved April 7, 2008 [48] "Iran to form carpet export consortium". PressTV. November 9, 2008. Detail.aspx?id=74845&sectionid=351020102. Retrieved on 2009-03-01. [49] Health Insurance for Carpet Weavers Retrieved December 16, 2008 [50] Made In Iran Retrieved 12 February 2008 [51] [5] Retrieved 12 February 2008 [52] Australian Trade Retrieved 12 February 2008 [53] 18% of Medicines Thrown Out Annually Retrieved 12 February 2008 [54] SAPCO: Iran Automotive Industry’s Market Shares (September 2001) Retrieved November 14, 2008 [55] Iran 16th Biggest Automakerretrieved 12 February 2008 [56] Gasoline Quota Will Change In Two Months retrieved 12 February 2008 [57] Payvand:Iran car exports projected to reach $1b by March Retrieved October 24, 2008 [58] Iran Launches Production of Stealth Sub Retrieved 13 February 2008 [59] IRI exports warfare to 50 countries Retrieved 12 February 2008 [60] Iran exports military equipment Retrieved 12 February 2008


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Economy of Iran

[61] Australian Trade: Construction in Iran [83] Iran Daily: President in Birjand Rally Retrieved May 12, 2008 Retrieved October 9, 2008 [62] Iran Daily: Housing for All Retrieved [84] Mehr News Agency: Iran’s reserves in April 12, 2009 foreign banks increases 36% to $81B [63] Simultaneous Dam, Spillways Retrieved May 12, 2008 Construction Obligatory - 30% Drinking [85] Mehr News Agency: Value of Tehran Water Wasted Retrieved 12 February Stock Exchange to top $70b Retrieved 12 2008 February 2008 [64] 70% of Population Own Homes Retrieved [86] Iran Daily: Vast Economic Potential 12 February 2008 Lauded Retrieved October 8, 2008 [65] Payvand:Energy Wastage In Iran Equals [87] IRNA: Iran’s e-commerce to reach 6-7 Billion Dallars Per Year retrieved rls10,000b Retrieved December 3, 2008 November 2, 2008 [88] Privatization of Telecom Companies [66] Iran Daily: Energy Subsidies Reach $84b Retrieved 12 February 2008 retrieved November 2, 2008 [89] [67] "Iran set to build more nuclear plants". default.aspx Australian Trade: PressTV. March 1, 2009. Information and communications technology (ICT) to Iran] Retrieved May detail.aspx?id=87124&sectionid=351020104. 9, 2009 Retrieved on 2009-03-01. [90] Economist Intelligence Unit: Iran [68] Iran Daily: Iran’s oil refining industry Retrieved December 5, 2008 needs dlrs 15b investment: Oil Minister [91] Iran Daily: Software Exports Hit $45m Retrieved October 16, 2008 Retrieved November 2, 2008 [69] [6] Retrieved 12 February 2008 [92] CIA Factbook: Iran Retrieved April 8, [70] Iran Daily:Dehloran Refinery Under 2008 ConstructionRetrieved November 14, [93] Iran-Daily Retrieved April 9, 2008 2008 [94] [7] Retrieved April 8, 2008 [71] Company Advances In Energy [95] Road Construction Projects Capabilities Retrieved 12 February 2008 UpbeatDecember 20, 2008 [72] 1st phase of Iran oil stock inaugurated [96] US Department of Energy - Background on Kish island Retrieved 17 February about Iran’s economy Retrieved 23 2008 January 2008] [73] Oil bourse opens in Iran’s Kish Island [97] Iran’s non-oil export up to dlrs 16.3b Retrieved 17 February 2008 retrieved 23 January 2008 [74] "Mining to Iran". Australian Government. [98] Presstv:Iran to launch more trade July 31, 2007. counselors Retrieved October 25, 2008[99] Engineering Service Exports Improve Iran/default.aspx. Retrieved on retrieved on November 23, 2008 2009-03-01. [100] he Cost of Economic Sanctions on T [75] Australian Trade: Mining in Iran Major Exporters to Iran Retrieved 23 Retrieved April 8, 2008 January 2008 [76] Travel To Iran - Tourism in Iran [101] ressTV:$13bn: new record in Iran-India P Retrieved 12 February 2008 trade Retrieved November 2, 2008 [77] SCIENCE IN IRAN: An Islamic Science [102]8] Retrieved 23 January 2008 [ Revolution? Retrieved November 15, [103]ran Daily - Domestic Economy (Islamic I 2008 WTO proposed) Retrieved 23 January [78] Medical Science and Research in Iran 2008 retrieved December 4, 2008 [104]n 2005: Import Bill From Dubai $28.7b I [79] Australian Trade - Health Sector in Iran retrieved 23 January 2008 Retrieved 12 February 2008 [105] [ [80] COUNTRY PROFILE: IRAN Retrieved 12 html/economy.htm Expats Worth $1.3 February 2008 Trillion] Retrieved 23 January 2008 [81] Travel To Iran - Tourism in Iran [106]ran attracted $24.3 billion foreign I Retrieved 23 January 2008 capital in 16 years Retrieved 23 January [82] Iran Daily: Banking System Needs 2008 Overhaul Retrieved October 9, 2008


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[107] oreign Investment At Record Level F Retrieved 23 January 2008 [108] EI - Global Investment in Iran Retrieved A 23 January 2008 [109]9] Retrieved 23 January 2008 [ [110] 34 billion in 16 years Retrieved $ December 10, 2008 [111] TO Membership Retrieved 23 January W 2008

Economy of Iran
• Ministry of Economic and Finance Affairs of Iran - Information on the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) and Taxes (in English) • High Council of Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zone - Official site with information on Iran’s Free Trade Zones • Global Investment in Iran with Interactive maps - American Enterprise Institute (list of major international companies investing in Iran broken down by their nationality, sector of activity and amount invested) • Iran in Maps - BBC (population, land, infrastructure) • World Bank Statistics - Iran - Social and economic indicators for Iran • Pars Times - Iran Business Resources Comprehensive list of resources on the Internet relating to Iran and its economy • Iran Economic Development at the Open Directory Project

External links
• The Economist - Iran (Forecast, factsheet, economic data & structure) • US Department of Energy - Economy of Iran (oil, gas, electricity, data, profile, analysis, weblinks/resources) • Australian Government - Doing Business in Iran - many practical information and sector specific reports, with useful websites and resources

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