Economy season

Economy season



Iran is in the eye of the storm. It is located in a region that throughout the past century has been one of the most flaming world regions. During all these years world powers haven’t prescribed anything to the Middle East region unless military and political interference. Meanwhile, the regional countries haven’t tried to reach convergence and resolve regional problems by themselves.


War, terror, extremism, and hopelessness have emerged to be the eminent features of the Middle East. The region, during the past decade and in particular during the past 2-3 years, has been the hotbed of negative outputs for developed countries including refugees crisis, terrorist attacks and drug trafficking. It seems that the developed world has also come to this conclusion that the instability of the Middle East region resulted from its military and political interfering yields costs rather than benefits. This without any doubt has been a main reason for the change of behavior towards Iran in the nuclear negotiations.


During past century while the war was flaming up in the Middle East, Western countries changed their model of diplomacy into economic diplomacy and tied their interests together so that the political turbulences wouldn’t result in military encounters. The model eventually led to the expected result and today cooperative competition (co-opetition) has emerged as the European Union’s economic model which has resulted in stability of the continent.


Today Iran is gradually getting out of recent years’ tensions and threats and it might be the best possible time to take the initiative to trigger the Middle East economic diplomacy as a substitute to war and crisis. While big world economies are trying to stay away from the Middle East turmoil, a convergence has happened between the developed world problems and the Middle East situation – even due to constraint or compatibility with the new circumstances. It’s not clear how long this convergence and inevitable choice would endure but the situation should be utilized to its highest extent.


This was a quick look at Iran’s influence in the Middle East through political and diplomatic perspective. On the flip side there remains the economic perspective. The visits by economic delegations and foreign businessmen to Iran have been increased unprecedentedly during past months. Iran’s history, no doubt, has never witnessed such high number of economic delegations visiting the country. Of course, it is not surprising that businessmen from other countries are eager to come to Iran. Iran had separated off from global economy during past decade. Meanwhile, Iran is the biggest economy that is remaining out of the World Trade Organization and that has not entered any regional or trans-regional free trade agreements. However, Iran’s capacities have brought it single digit position among world countries in many vantage points.


On the other hand the position of Iran in most of reports and rankings in business environment is not proper. Associating all these factors together indicates that the post-sanctions era is a period of change for the country. In the new environment, ripe opportunities would find the chance to emerge. Here, shifting the balance means that the profits of an investment would be higher than the average.


Large companies that always follow long-term strategies are eager to invest in Iran. Almost every multi-national company which had visited Iran is considering direct investment in the country.


If you combine the two aspects, namely political and economic, the significance of a smart role played by Iran would be doubled. Add to this the deep and drastic economic problems Iran has faced during recent years. There is no feasible way to resolve these issues only based on internal capacities. Government local debts have reached tremendous figures and even more worrying is that there is no exact assessment about the sum of government debts. These debts have plunged companies into bankruptcy and financial crisis.


The situation reveals that under mandatory circumstances both world and Iran need mutual interaction to resolve problems. The solution to all those issues lies in an approach based on economic interaction. Therefore, we should not only welcome economic delegations visiting Iran, but also integrate the language of economy into diplomacy; the language in which we have the least difference of opinion with developed countries.

By: Pedram Soltani, Vice President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture

Source: Shargh newspaper

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