Iran

iranCapital City: Tehran
Population (Millions): 78

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

GDP Per Capita: US$ 11200
GDP per Sector:
Agriculture – 11 %
Industry – 45.9 %
Services – 43.1%
Currency: IRR
Ex.Rates: 10308
Big Cities (>100,000): TEHRAN, Mashhad, Esfahan, Karaj
Urban Population: 71%
Languages: Persian, Turkish

Background:The Islamic Republic of Iran is located in the Middle East and Central Eurasia, sharing its borders with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Iran’s borders also access four seas: the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea in the south. Iran is a member of the MENA region which collectively controls 60 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 45 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves. Iran has an abundance of natural resources; particularly oil, natural gas and mineral resources – much of which remain untapped. Iran’s proven oil and natural gas reserves are ranked 3rd and 2nd highest in the world respectively. The country is also a founding member of OPEC and GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum), as well as an observer at the WTO since 2005.

Price controls, subsidies, and other rigidities also weigh down the economy, undermining Iran’s potential in private sector-led growth. However, Iran is still a transition economy, gradually transforming from a centrally planned economy to a free market. The evolution has been a slow and painful process marked by inefficient state policies, poor management of resources as well as international conflicts and sanctions.

Although the Iranian government is keen on foreign investment, Iran ranks among the bottom 10 states in the 2011 Economic Freedom Index and 69th out of 139 states in the Global Competitiveness Report. Nevertheless despite an uncertain business climate and threat of international sanctions, US$7.584 billion of FDI was pumped into Iran in 2010 – particularly in Iran’s oil and natural gas industry.