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Aras Trade-Industrial Free Zone

Aras Free Zone

Introduction

Jolfa Township is located in the northwest of East Azarbaijan Province between 45°17′ to 46°31′ of eastern longitude and 38°39′ to 39°2′ of northern latitude as a narrow strip on the northern border of the Province. From the north, it ends up to the Aras River, Republics of Nakhchivan, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. This Township covers the area of 1670.31 square kilometers and it neighbors Kaleibar Township to the east, and Marand and Ahar to the south. On average, the width of Jolfa Township is 17 kilometers and its length is 100 kilometers. Jolfa City is the capital of the Township and it is located 135 kilometers to the northwest of Tabriz and 65 kilometers to the north of Marand. Jolfa is among the smallest cities of the Province covering 1670.31 square kilometers which is only 3.4 of the total area of the Province and it is ranked twelfth in this regard.

In terms of political divisions, Jolfa Township is composed of two districts, namely Central District and Siyah Rood, and five rural districts: West Dizmar, Nojeh Mehr, Arasi, Daran, and Shoja.  According to the statistics of 2004, there are 73,219 villages in Jolfa Township.

Based on the resolution 530820 T/20708 dated June 28, 2005, passed by the Iranian Cabinet, Aras Free Zone covered some 9,700 hectares of lands. However, according to another resolution adopted on December 4, 2008, by the respectable Cabinet, the borders of this Zone was expanded to cover some 51,000 hectares including parts of two counties namely Jolfa and Khoda Afarin.

Investment Competitive Advantages

 Human resources (expert and cheap work force).

 Cheap energy

Investment security

Cheap warehousing

Land

Exemption from customs duties and commercial interests for importing raw materials and machineries

Ø Exemption from customs fees and commercial interests for the import of goods produced in the Zone to other parts of Iran based on the Value Added Act.

Customs Advantages for Investment

Reducing commercial interest up to 15% of CIF value of the commodities which are imported to the mainland  through trade- industrial free zones

Increasing the amount of imported commodities to free zones up to $ 3,000,000,000.

Minimum time needed for evaluation and discharging formalities

Possibility of importing commodities through foreign, domestic transit, TIR Carnet, etc.

Possibility of transferring goods by train and being connected to overseas lines.

Accepting warranty for discharging commodities from the Zone.

Separating bills for discharge warehouse (absolute discharge, transit, export, etc.

Entering agreement with commodity owners for the import and export of the commodities of the production unit within the Zone.

Discharging fixed commodities on the truck within the minimum possible time.

Issuing a negotiable warehouse bill on demand of commodity owners.

Stop services for the available commodities in the customs of Free Zone two times higher than the expected time for the customs of the mainland. The stop services time for the produced commodities is infinite.

Legal Advantages for Investment

Making use of advantages contained in the Value Added Act.

20-year tax exemption for various economic activities since the operating date.

Exemption from customs fees and commercial interests for the import of raw materials and machineries.

Exporting the produced commodities to abroad with the minimum formalities.

Freedom for importing any goods except for the ones inconsistence with the Islamic laws.

Guaranteeing the capital of the foreign investors against nationalization and expropriation.

Foreign investors' complete free hands for any economic activities.

Company registration by Aras Free Trade and Industrial Zone Organization.

The possibility of 100% foreign investment without Iranian partnership.

Visa-free entrance.

The possibility of using foreign experts.

Issuing employment license for aliens by Aras Free Trade and Industrial Zone Organization..

Infrastructures at Aras Free Zone

Railway network

The railway of Jolfa-Tabriz is the first and the only electric railway of Iran constructed 100 years ago connecting Aras Free Zone to Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, the Black Sea, Turkey and Europe from the north, the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea from the south, and CIS countries from the East. Jolfa-Tabriz road network links the city's entrance and exit points through Jolfa-Nordooz and Khoda Afrin with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Aras Airport is under the construction in Aras Free Zone,120 kilometers away from Tabriz Airport and 35 kilometers away from Nakhchivan Airport.

Energy

Energy sources including oil and gas are sufficiently available in the region at present and the construction of a 500-MW power plant is executed by the private sector. This power plant would be the main supplier of energy for the Zone in the future.

Telecommunication

Telecommunication infrastructures and communicating facilities have completely been set up in the Zone. The necessary branchements have been provided in line with the current needs and they are ready to be given to the applicants for making use in planning for the construction of data center ICD of the Zone, supporting private sector investors in areas of SAP,PAP, and PSTN given that legal limitations of the mainland are not practiced here, establishing and expanding ICT in the Zone due to the relative advantage of Aras Free Zone in having access to national communication infrastructures and its located on the way of eastern and western international fiber optic network from China to Europe and planning to transform the Zone into a pilot case study for the national projects of ​​ICT in line with realization of an electronic zone.

Source: http://www.freezones.ir/

 

Iran Automotive Industry Stakeholders Analysis

 

Author: Jalal Y. Azari 

Senior Consultant , Homasa Consulting Group, (email: azari(at)homasa.com)

Automotive industry has been considered as the second biggest industry of Iran after oil industry accounting for approx. 8.5 % of GDP and workforce of more than 750K employees. This article as a part twelve month in-house study on stakeholders of Iran automotive industry is supposed to strengthen the motivation of this work to understand players of automobile industry in deep due to help international investors and power groups to understand the broaden needs of stakeholders to espouse managers in order to achieve the objective in their business setting.

In recent years, together with political and economic challenges, Iran automotive industry has been suffering from managerial issues, where many sepcialists contemplate lack of technology or know-how is the main cause for such a big gap from global standards.

With recentsuccess on international politic negotiations and sanctions’ lift, it’s estimated a considerable economic growth for Iran in 2016 and 2017 (e.g. approx. 5% increase in domestic growth in 2016 reported by World Bank). Several international automakers are rushing to Iran’s present untapped car market. This would be a good news for all, but they need to be aware of local trends and understand needs of each stakeholder group.

Studying Iranian individuals, we categorized key stakeholders of this industry into five main groups base on Performance Prism (A multi-dimensional performance management framework developed by Andy Neely & et. Al., 2002) including shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees and local community. Reviewing and analyzing the interviews, documents and official reports, critical effecting factors on stakeholders were identified that might be interpreted as satisfactory factors also, are shown in figure below.

Key Stakholders Groups in Iran Automotive Industry

Figure (1) Effecting factors on key stakeholders

Surprisingly there were a few signs of consensus among all five groups whether they are satisfied with recent status, even shareholder’s group with or without profit are not satisfied.

Our analysis show that generally all groups of stakeholders are dissatisfied from three main challenges: Individual's mindset, External pressures and Internal operations.

Findings of this work demonstrate factors that failed to satisfy stakeholder groups (e.g. Figure (2)) wherestakeholder become stake-losers!.

Stakholders Failure Map

Figure (2). Key stakeholders’ dissatisfactory factors in Iran automotive industry

Even though It’s not possible to fulfill all needs of different groups but companies are suggested follow a multi-aspect framework to evaluate the corporate performance instead of one dimensional, traditional financial measures. For International entrants, It’s advisable to follow broad definition of corporate governance which includes more stakeholders and establish financial and non-financial metrics to evaluate the corporation.

Now the time has arrived big change in Iran market, potential waiting for new and trendy vehicles (passenger cars & commercial vehicles) for Iran market. However during past years, due to regulations with excessive customs duties for importing cars as CBU and government support for two main Iranian automakers (Irankhodro & Saipa) the market has been changed to monopolistic competition. In 2015 summer,a campaign to boycott "substandard and expensive" Iranian-made cars has been started in Social Media and it’s still going on. Or when production line stopped for half a day, because of delay in delivering parts from one of suppliers that sometime later it was proved that supplier didn’t delivered parts on time in objection to payment delay from automaker side.

With future high competitive atmosphere in Iran market, automotive industry requires great focus to solve the stakeholders’ satisfaction challenges, otherwise even with satisfying customers or shareholder’s group, stakelosers of other groups won’t engage or support company’s goals.

Foreign investors should be cautious and aware of the regulations, writes Azadeh Meskarian.

As the holder of the world’s largest gas reserve and the fourth-biggest oil reserves, Iran recently revealed its remodelled Iran Petroleum Contract replacing its previous buyback deals.

This is in line with Iran’s widely publicised intention to increase its oil production capacity after the lifting of sanctions to approximately five million barrels a day from about one million bpd since the imposition of blanket sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas sector.

The new IPC will cover different stages of exploration, development and production and will be offered to contractors as an integrated package for an estimated duration of 15 to 20 years.

Iran hopes to attract around $30bn of foreign investment necessary to substantiate its intention to increase its oil production despite the falling oil prices. Although as far foreign investment is concerned, changes to domestic law may be necessary to make the system more transparent and reliable.

Another thing to note is the possibility of snap-back of the sanctions if there is any doubt about Iran’s performance under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. So it may take time for the necessary level of confidence to build up for significant foreign investment.

The new framework is expected to create a win-win situation for both the foreign investors and the Iranian side of the deal, and hopefully attract medium-sized foreign investors as well as the previously present multinationals.

It will also bring about potential opportunities for foreign companies to book reserves or take equity stakes in Iranian companies. It is worth noting that National Iranian Oil Company will maintain exclusive ownership of all resources.

Impact of sanctions on the Iranian economy

The imposition of blanket sanctions and extensive trade restrictions by the United States, European Union and other countries on Iran’s financial, banking and energy sectors has crippled its economy in the past few years.

Exchange rates and the depreciating value of the Iranian rial has significantly affected the day to day lives of local Iranians, foreign companies and individuals with an interest in investing in the country. As a result, foreign investors with a significant presence in Iran were left with no option but to close down and/or significantly reduce their activities.

These prohibitions made it impossible for Iranian banks and their foreign subsidiaries to carry out transactions with the rest of the world. Furthermore, many European banks with representative offices in Iran had to close down or significantly reduce their activities and resources in Iran.

The cut-off of key banking channels, corresponding relationships and swift services has distanced Iran’s financial sector from the international banking sector. This negatively impacted the value of the Iranian rial and the rate of inflation reached a high of 34.7 per cent between March 2013-March 2014, and then fell to 15.5 per cent the following year after President Rouhani’s election. 

What remains essential now is the re-establishment of banking channels and international corresponding relationship with Iranian banks and their foreign branches and subsidiaries.

Although the return of international banking services to Iran is bound to happen, the removal of sanctions would not necessarily mean an immediate return of foreign banks to Iran; I believe it will take much more for that to happen.

Banks have faced extensive fines by US authorities (most recently Deutsche Bank paid fines of $258m for dealing with US sanctioned Iranians and Syrians) for breaching international sanctions relating to Iran and will remain hesitant in entering the Iranian market. Iran will need to meet the international standards of relevant regulatory frameworks and deal with significant money-laundering concerns for the return of foreign international banks.

Domestic and international opportunities by lifting of sanctions

As the largest untapped market with a very young population, the lifting of sanctions will bring around a host of new opportunities to foreign businesses with a prior presence in Iran as well as those interested in entering the Iranian market.

Delegations from various European countries have been visiting officials in Iran since the finalisation of the JCPOA in July 2015 elaborating various opportunities in tourism, transportation, technology, foodstuff, aviation, machinery as well as oil and gas.

Those interested should be aware of the domestic applicable law, recent changes in the Iranian law, international restrictions that remain on trading with Iran and the possibility of snap-back of sanctions. Although it is unlikely for Iran not to abide by its agreed obligations as set out under the JCPOA. Working around the Iranian economy and complex politics can be tricky and requires assistance. 

New Iranian legislations such as the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act have come into force in an attempt to attract more foreign investment. They remove previous restrictions on the percentage of foreign shareholding in Iran and offer the possibility of registering an Iranian company with 100 per cent foreign capital as well as unlimited transfer of capital and dividends where applicable.

Investors and businesses must be vigilant of sanctions that will remain in place after the Implementation Day —some UN, EU sanctions, as well as all primary US sanctions applicable to all US citizens will remain in place —and businesses must ensure they comply with all applicable sanctions to prevent problems.

Investors should also take advice on protecting their intellectual property rights to protect their interest in Iran. This is perhaps also another area that domestic Iranian law will require further improvement to make the market more attractive.

Azadeh Meskarian is the head of the Iran department of Zaiwalla & Co. Solicitors

source:http://www.gulfbusiness.com/

Friday, 20 November 2015 21:29

Iran’s achievements in primary health care

In June 2015, Health Alliance International co-hosted a panel event with the UW Global Health Resource Center on Iran’s impressive achievements in primary health care.  The event, “Fulfilling the Alma-Ata Vision: Iran’s Remarkable Story of Achieving Health for All,” highlighted the significant health advances Iran has achieved through emphasizing community, family and environmental health in rural settings, while pointing to ongoing challenges and reforms.

We wanted to take this opportunity to discuss a few of the dominant themes of the discussion, and hopefully encourage you to learn more about Iran and the primary health care model.

Primary Health Care and Alma Ata in Iran

The Alma Ata Declaration (1978) was a revolutionary document endorsed by the WHO and its member states which marked a global recognition that health and access to primary health care (PHC) are fundamental human rights for which governments are responsible.  The Alma Ata declaration endorsed a community-based approach to health care which focused on access to preventive care in rural and poor settings.  In many countries around the world, the Alma Ata approach quickly gave way to Selective Primary Health Care, which shifted away from comprehensive health care goals to a more focused, low-cost approach for a few health services.

But not in Iran.

The panelists discussed how, since 1975, the Iranian public sector has provided primary health care services to even its most rural populations via health houses staffed with Community Health Workers.  These health houses link to a multi-tiered network of health centers and district teaching hospitals.  One panelist mentioned a wide range of services complemented with impeccably recorded data.  Another pointed to the significant decreases in fertility and child mortality over the last 40 years, and the regionally high life expectancy of 74 years.  This approach has been so effective in eliminating health disparities between rural and urban populations that it inspired the Iran/Mississippi Delta Rural Health Care project which aims to emulate Iran’s PHC model in rural Mississippi.

Iranian healthcare in a geo-political context

If what you read above surprises you, that wouldn’t really surprise our panel.  Two of the panelists gave detailed personal accounts of life in Iran, breaking down stereotypes of Iranian life even among panel attendees.  The fact that these notable advances in health care have gone virtually unnoticed outside of Iran has a great deal to do with US politics and media talk about Iran.  Even theIran/Mississippi Delta Rural Health Care project, in which 15 communities in rural Mississippi are using the health house model to improve health service delivery in the Delta region, has faced severe roadblocks due to the fact that the proposed system is based on an Iranian model.

Continued challenges

Despite its relative success, the Iranian health care system still faces challenges both universal to health care delivery, and contextually unique to Iran.  In the urban setting, challenges of health care financing has continued to push providers toward privatization of services.  However, as of 2015, a new financing scheme funded through sales tax aims to provide universal coverage of 90% of the cost of health services to Iranians.   Additionally, sanctions imposed by Western countries on the import of medical and other supplies has forced Iran to look to other sources for its supply chain needs.  One panelist pointed out that this has served to build self-sufficiency, at the cost of time and service quality.

Source : http://www.healthallianceinternational.org/irans-achievements-in-primary-health-care/

Friday, 13 November 2015 12:38

15 Reasons You Need a Business Plan

Whether you're just starting out, growing your business or seeking outside help, a well-thought-out business plan is the vehicle you need to get you there

Why do you want a business plan? You already know the obvious reasons, but there are so many other good reasons to create a business plan that many business owners don't know about. So, just for a change, let's take a look at the less obvious reasons first and finish with the ones you probably already know about. Think of this as a late-show top 10, with us building up to the most important reasons you need a business plan.

15. Set specific objectives for managers. Good management requires setting specific objectives and then tracking and following up. I'm surprised how many existing businesses manage without a plan. How do they establish what's supposed to happen? In truth, you're really just taking a short cut and planning in your head--and good for you if you can do it--but as your business grows you want to organize and plan better, and communicate the priorities better. Be strategic. Develop a plan; don't just wing it.

14. Share your strategy, priorities and specific action points with your spouse, partner or significant other. Your business life goes by so quickly: a rush of answering phone calls, putting out fires, etc. Don't the other people in your business life need to know what's supposed to be happening? Don't you want them to know?

13. Deal with displacement. Displacement is probably by far the most important practical business concept you've never heard of. It goes like this: "Whatever you do is something else you don't do." Displacement lives at the heart of all small-business strategy. At least most people have never heard of it.

12. Decide whether or not to rent new space. Rent is a new obligation, usually a fixed cost. Do your growth prospects and plans justify taking on this increased fixed cost? Shouldn't that be in your business plan?

11. Hire new people. This is another new obligation (a fixed cost) that increases your risk. How will new people help your business grow and prosper? What exactly are they supposed to be doing? The rationale for hiring should be in your business plan.

10. Decide whether you need new assets, how many, and whether to buy or lease them. Use your business plan to help decide what's going to happen in the long term, which should be an important input to the classic make vs. buy. How long will this important purchase last in your plan?

9. Share and explain business objectives with your management team, employees and new hires. Make selected portions of your business plan part of your new employee training.

8. Develop new business alliances. Use your plan to set targets for new alliances, and selected portions of your plan to communicate with those alliances.

7. Deal with professionals. Share selected highlights or your plans with your attorneys and accountants, and, if this is relevant to you, consultants.

6. Sell your business. Usually the business plan is a very important part of selling the business. Help buyers understand what you have, what it's worth and why they want it.

5. Valuation of the business for formal transactions related to divorce, inheritance, estate planning and tax issues. Valuation is the term for establishing how much your business is worth. Usually that takes a business plan, as well as a professional with experience. The plan tells the valuation expert what your business is doing, when, why and how much that will cost and how much it will produce.

4. Create a new business. Use a plan to establish the right steps to starting a new business, including what you need to do, what resources will be required, and what you expect to happen.

3. Seek investment for a business, whether it's a startup or not.Investors need to see a business plan before they decide whether or not to invest. They'll expect the plan to cover all the main points.

2. Back up a business loan application. Like investors, lenders want to see the plan and will expect the plan to cover the main points.

1. Grow your existing business. Establish strategy and allocate resources according to strategic priority. You can find more information about growing your business with a business plan by reading " Existing Companies Need Planning, Too ."

TIM BERRY

Strategies are actions a business takes to compete more aggressively, to acquire additional customers and to operate the company more profitably. A successful strategic plan provides the information and guidance the management team needs to run the company with greater efficiency and help the business reach its full potential. Strategic planning helps managers make decisions based on logical assumptions and a clearer view of the future.

Positions Company Vs. Competitors

Strategic planning creates a game plan for the management team to follow to meet the challenges posed by competitors. During the planning process, competitors’ weaknesses are analyzed. The company’s marketing strategies are then designed to take advantage of these weaknesses by positioning the company as offering a superior mix of products and services to its target customers. Positioning also means making sure the company doesn’t waste resources trying to compete in an area where a competitor has already established clear and sustainable market dominance.

Accurately Forecasts Future

The strategic plan helps a company predict what its best opportunities are for growth -- the ideal target customers, the best markets to serve. The company forecasts the expected growth in current business sectors, and exciting new markets are identified for the company to enter in the future. The ability to forecast with reasonable accuracy prevents the company from making strategic errors, such as committing large amounts of capital to enter a market that initially appeared promising but turns out to be insignificant in size or not profitable.

Provides Performance Measures

The plan should provide management with quantifiable goals, and forecast revenues and expenses that can later be compared to actual financial results. Management needs to know which products, services and markets are contributing the most to the company’s bottom line, and which are falling short of expectations. Part of strategic planning is contingency planning, having changes in strategy already thought out that can be implemented when the original strategies prove to be ineffective.

Facilitates Efficient Resource Allocation

All companies need to be judicious with how they employ their capital, time, people and productive capacity. Planning provides a logical means to make these decisions -- managers are forced to explain why each decision makes sense and if possible quantify the likely financial benefit of each expenditure. If a current expenditure cannot be justified, these resources can be freed up for more productive uses.

Sets Long-term Objectives

The strategic planning process forces managers to look past the pressing challenges they must deal with on a day-to-day basis, and focus on formulating a long-range vision for building the business. This is the creative part of planning -- being able to imagine the company continually growing and gaining market share, and then determining the sequence of strategic actions and the resources needed to turn these imagined goals into reality

Creates Planning Culture

If the business owners conduct the planning process with enthusiasm and recognize everyone’s contributions to the final product, the company can be transformed into one where strategic planning is ongoing, not just a once-a-year project. Managers begin to see their roles as constantly trying to make the areas they are responsible for operate more efficiently. They develop a capacity for spotting emerging market opportunities and potential innovations. The successful strategic plan can inspire managers to be more forward looking every day.

by Brian Hill, Demand Media

References (1) 

  • "Simplified Strategic Planning: The No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast"; Robert W. Bradford and J. Peter Duncan; 2000

About the Author

Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 16:40

Five Steps to a Strategic Plan

It’s hard to accomplish anything without a plan. Whether you’re coaching a football team, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, or running a small business, you need a strategic plan.

A strategic plan looks at all the things your small business could do and narrows it down to the things it is actually good at doing. A strategic plan also helps business leaders determine where to spend time, human capital, and money.

But, how should small businesses approach strategic planning? There are hundreds of business books dedicated to the topic. We’ve read most of them. We put the others on our bookshelf just for show.

Developing a strategic plan might seem like an overwhelming process, but if you break it down, it’s easy to tackle. Here’s our five-step approach:

1. Determine where you are. This is harder than is looks. Some people see themselves how they WANT to see themselves, not how they actually appear to others. Many small businesses get snared in this same trap.

For an accurate picture of where your business is, conduct external and internal audits to get a clear understanding of the marketplace, the competitive environment, and your organization’s competencies (your real—not perceived—competencies).

2. Identify what’s important. Focus on where you want to take your organization over time. This sets the direction of the enterprise over the long term and clearly defines the mission (markets, customers, products, etc.) and vision (conceptualization of what your organization’s future should or could be).

From this analysis, you can determine the priority issues—those issues so significant to the overall well-being of the enterprise that they require the full and immediate attention of the entire management team. The strategic plan should focus on these issues.

3. Define what you must achieve. Define the expected objectives that clearly state what your organization must achieve to address the priority issues.

4. Determine who is accountable. This is how you’re going to get to where you want to go. The strategies, action plans, and budgets are all steps in the process that effectively communicates how you will allocate time, human capital, and money to address the priority issues and achieve the defined objectives.

5. Review. Review. Review. It’s not over. It’s never over. To ensure the plan performs as designed, you must hold regularly scheduled formal reviews of the process and refine as necessary. We suggest at least once a quarter.

A strategic plan is a wonderful thing. It can help you take your small business to places you never thought possible. If you haven’t already done so, take the time to lay out a strategic plan now. It will help keep your small business on track and you focused on the future.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aileron/2011/10/25/five-steps-to-a-strategic-plan/

What you must understand before assuming international growth means opportunity

The reasons to invest domestically and abroad are the same: to potentially earn money on your investment choices and diversify your portfolio to manage risk.

A short global history

Decades ago, the leading economies were found mainly in the United States and Western Europe. But things began to change as manufacturing moved to Asia and Latin America. The thriving economies of Asia, such as South Korea and Singapore, began gaining the attention of American investors. Then in 2001, an analyst coined the acronym BRIC when discussing then-emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These economies have seen rapid growth in the last decade, though have shown recent signs of slowing down. Other up-and-coming markets that have recently begun to receive more attention include Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.

The difference between emerging and developed markets

While some economists disagree on the criteria that defines a nation as “developed,” most agree that the term applies to countries that have highly developed capital markets with ample liquidity, serious regulatory agencies, large market capitalization, and high levels of per-capita income. You can find developed markets in the U.S., Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

An emerging market can be defined as a country undergoing rapid growth that has lower personal incomes and may have a new or yet-to-be established market structure and infrastructure. Some emerging markets include Colombia, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam. The term also can include what analysts call Frontier Markets, which are nations that are slowly adapting to modern capitalism such as Bangladesh, Botswana, and Nigeria.

Why Invest Internationally?

There are two reasons to consider international investing: diversification and growth. Because international investment returns can move in a different direction than U.S. market returns, investing internationally could help guard against some of the risks associated with a U.S.-based portfolio. With a portfolio that includes domestic and foreign stocks, you could potentially reduce the risk of losing money if U.S. markets decline.

Investing internationally also lets you capture investment opportunities that arise from fast-growing economies and markets whose currencies are appreciating against the dollar.

Just like the adage about not putting all of your eggs in one basket, investing overseas may spread your portfolio’s risk. By diversifying internationally, you are not stuck with one type of security in a single region or subject to the performance of one asset class.

Financial involvement in other markets also means looking into the currencies of different nations. By diversifying the currencies in which you invest, you are hedging against potential dips in the U.S. dollar.

ETFs and Mutual Funds

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds are two popular options for many investors looking overseas for opportunities.

ETFs are traded on a stock exchange, either in the U.S. or in other countries and regions. ETFs are usually tied to an index of securities such as equities, bonds, and commodities. They are attractive to investors for their relatively low and stable costs, tax efficiency, and resemblance to individual stocks in terms of performance.

ETFs differ somewhat from mutual funds, which pool money together from thousands of small investors to buy larger quantities of stocks, bonds, or other securities with those funds. The term “mutual fund” is popular in the U.S. and Canada, but similar tools in other regions may have different names. (For example, in the United Kingdom, the term is open-ended investment company (OEIC); in Western Europe this tool is referred to as a SICAV, which roughly translates to Collective Investment Scheme Common)1.

Crossing risky waters

As with any investment, international opportunities can present risk and unique concerns. Although emerging markets can offer stronger growth opportunities, they are often more volatile than developed markets. You’ll need to look out for the following risks when considering international investments:

Political risk. Many parts of the world are undergoing immense changes, including the Middle East, parts of Asia, and Latin America. Some countries within these regions are not only new to capitalism, they are also new to democracy and the rights of workers as well as investors. Investors in developed countries also have to be aware of potential political risks.

Information risk. Foreign countries have different views on the flow of news and information. Some nations embrace an open press, while others curb social media such as Twitter and Facebook. If you are investing in a country or region where the dissemination of information is curtailed by a political, military, or cultural leader, you may want to proceed with caution.

Currency / liquidity risk. Different parts of the globe experience trouble with their currencies as a result of events investors can’t foresee or control. For example, the well-publicized debt issues of some countries within the Eurozone, such as Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, had a negative impact on the value of the euro. Investing overseas requires you to closely follow news and trends from various regions and keep a keen eye on potential currency fluctuations.

The percentage of your portfolio you invest internationally will depend on your risk tolerance and your long-term financial plan. An experienced financial professional can help you decide what’s right for you.

 

https://www.wellsfargo.com/financial-education/investing/international-investing-risks-and-benefits/

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 14:37

Facts About Iran

Below you can find many interesting fact about Iran which may not heard about. 

In Persian, the word Iranmeans “Land of the Aryans.”n

In 2012, Iran’s police chief announced that Google is a tool for spying. Additionally, the Iranian government wants to form a “national Internet” that would be under state control.k

In Iran, couples that want a marriage license are required to take an hour-long lecture on contraception.c

Iran’s capital and largest city, Tehran, has some of the worst air pollution in the world. An estimated 27 people die a day from air pollution-related diseases.l

Iran first participated in the Olympics in 1948 and has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games since then, except for 1980 and 1984. Iran has also participated in the winter Olympics multiple times since 1956.f

Approximately 14.2% of Iranians are obese, making it the 41st most obese country in the world. American Samoa is the largest, with 75% of its population obese. The United States is 6th in the world, with 33.9% of the population obese.i

The official name of Iran is the Islamic Republic of Iran. It became an Islamic republic in 1979 when the monarchy was overthrown and religious clerics assumed political power under supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini.m

Iran’s current flag was adopted on July 29, 1980

The current Iranian flag was adopted in 1980 and has three equal horizontal bands of green, white, and red. Green is the color of Islam and represents growth, white symbolizes honesty and peace, and red stands for bravery and martyrdom. Centered in the middle white band is the stylized representation of the word “Allah” and the phrase La ilaha illa Allah (“None is worthy of worship but Allah”) in the shape of a tulip. Along the inner edges of the green and red bands are 22 copies of the phrase Allahu Akbar (“God is great”).l

In 1953, the CIA was involved in a covert operation code named Operation Ajax to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government of Prime Minister Masaddegh. In return, the Shah rewarded the United States with a 40% stake in Iran’s oil industry. When the Iranians learned of the United State’s role, they would distrust the United States for years to come.e

In 1979, a group of Islamist students and militants overtook the American Embassy in Tehran. In support of the Iranian revolution, they demanded that the United States hand over Shah Pahlavi, who was dying of cancer and receiving medical treatment in the U.S. After 444 days, just minutes after President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office, the hostages were released.e

During the Iran-Iraq War, the United States officially supported Iraq and put pressure on other countries to stop selling weapons to Iran. However, the U.S. itself was later found to have been quietly selling weapons to the country. The resulting scandal was Iran-gate, or the Iran-Contra scandal.e

Nearly half of Iran has an arid desert climate. It receives less than 4 inches of precipitation each year.d

Only one river in Iran, the Karun, may be navigated by boat, and then only for short distances.d

The Persian Gulf holds 60% of the world’s oil reserves. Iran alone has reserves of 125 billion barrels of oil, or 10% of the world’s total reserves. Iran pumps nearly 4 million barrels of oil each day.d

Iran controls 50% of the Caspian Sea caviar market. The eggs of the Caspian beluga sturgeon can fetch up to $160 per ounce. The beluga sturgeon was swimming in lakes at the time of the dinosaurs—but the sturgeon, which can live to be 100 years old, are rapidly disappearing. Environmentalists argue that a full ban on caviar would help the ancient creature.g

Iran is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, with settlements dating back to 4000 B.C.g

Approximately 70% of Iran’s population is under the age of 30.i

Iran’s legal code is based on Shi’a Islamic law

After the Shah of Iran was ousted in 1979, Iran reverted from a legal system to Islamic law. Women under this law are not considered mentally or legally the equal of males. Additionally, children are perceived as the “substance of the male” and merely incubated by the female body. In the case of divorce, women lose all custody of children.c

Many young girls in Iran are married immediately after menarche.c

In Iran, a young girl who applies as a live-in maid is often required to submit medical documentation to establish whether her hymen is intact.c

In Iran, men who do not marry stay with their natal family their entire life and are described as na-mard (not-men).c

An Iranian organization offered a reward of $3 million to anyone who killed Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses. The book hinted that some of the verses of the Koran might not be real revelations from God and that the devil disguised himself to give Mohammed false ideas.e

Since ancient times, people in Iran have used a water supply system called a qanat(or kanat). It collects underground water and moves it through tunnels to places where people need it.f

Most homes in Iran do not have tables and chairs. Instead, people sit on cushions on the floor to eat their meals.m

Iranians have woven beautiful rugs for over 2,500 years. When creating rugs, Iranian weavers often make a mistake intentionally. They want to show their belief that “only God is perfect.” After oil, Iran’s second largest export commodity is carpets.m

The capital of Iran is Tehran, which means, “warm slope.” Nearly 12 million people live there.n

If a girl in Iran is sexually abused or harassed, blame typically falls on the girl’s mother, for not protecting her daughter, much more than on the offender.c

If a woman is raped in Iran, the police have the power to force a man to marry his victim, with or without her assent, though he can divorce her immediately after. In Iran, a divorced woman is more marriageable than an unmarried girl with a ruptured hymen.c

In Iran, there is no legal category for marital rape because a woman is her husband’s property. If there are signs of abuse, male members of her family may threaten her husband, but it is not the duty of the police.c

American magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse were widely available and often left lying around houses during the Shah’s regime. Although Khomeini banned pornography and depictions of naked bodies, porn is still available. In 1993, the Iranian Parliament approved legislation that “principle promoters” of porn could face the death penalty.c

The term "hijab" is Arabic forcurtain or cover

In Iran, females over the age of nine must wear a hijab in public. Additionally, religious rules do not allow women to wear bathing suits when men are present.n

Influential Iranian-Americans include Dara Khosrowshahi, President and CEO, Expedia, Inc; Omid Kordestani, Former Senior Vice President of Google; Isaac Larian, manufacturer of Bratz dolls; David Merage, manufacturer of Hot Pockets; Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay; Christiane Amanpour, news anchor; and Matt Ghaffari, Olympic silver-medal winning wrestler.e

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) banned the hijab in 2007, which prevented the Iranian women’s soccer team from playing in a 2012 Olympics qualifier game.j

The Persian cat is one of the world’s oldest breeds. They originated in the high plateaus of Iran where their long silky fur protected them from the cold. Italian traders brought the breed to Europe in the 17th century, where they became an exotic status symbol.m

The Medes were of Aryan origin and the first people to unify Iran by the 6th century B.C. One of the tribes, the Magi, were powerful Zoroastrian priests. The most famous Magi are the Three Wise Men of the Christian Nativity story who brought gifts to the newborn Christ. The 13th century Italian explorer Marco Polo claimed to have visited the graves of the Three Wise Men in what is now Iran’s capital Tehran.g

The U.S. Department of State cites Iran along with the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia as hubs of human trafficking. The Iranian government has shown little effort in curbing sexual trafficking. Often it is the girls rather than the traffickers who are tortured and executed for violating Iran’s standards of behavior.b

Iran has experienced one of the highest urban growth rates in the world, jumping from 27% to 60% between 1950 and 2002. By 2030, 80% of the population will be urban.i

In recent years, child prostitution has risen 635% in Iran. In Tehran alone, an estimated 84,000 women and girls are in prostitution. Thousands are trafficked as far away as France, Germany, and the UK.o

Sigheh, or short-term marriages, are permitted under Shari’a law in certain Shia schools. They can last one hour to several years depending on the contract. Many times they are used to satiate male pilgrims who visit holy shrines away from their families.c

Iran is one of the primary trans-shipment routes for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe. Over 3,600 Iranians have been killed in the past 25 years fighting heroin smugglers.i

While homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini decreed that transsexuals are allowed to have sex change operations in Iran. Since 2008, Iran has conducted more sex change operations than any other country in the world, second only to Thailand. The government even provides financial assistance.a

Iran has been dubbed “the nose job capital of the world,” as the Western nose has become the desired nose shape of young Iranian women.h

Iran is one of the world’s largest producers of caviar, pistachios, and saffron.d

Famous biblical figures purported to be buried in Iran include Esther, Daniel, Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and St. Thaddaeus.m

Iran has one of the only condom factories in the Middle East.c

Iran has over one million foreign refugees, more than any other country on earth. Most of the refugees are from Afghanistan or are Iraqi Kurds. Consequently, Iran has acquired a large workforce willing to do manual labor for the lowest wages.e

Iran has one of the highest opiate addiction rates in the world.m

Mass weddings usually coincide with important dates on the Islamic calendar (Photo Credit: AP)

Because traditional Iranian marriages are very expensive, the government will pay for mass weddings to reduce cost and encourage young Iranians to get married.c

In 2007, Iran produced the world’s largest handmade carpet for a mosque in the United Arab Emirates. It was the size of a soccer field.l

Polo was played in Iran as early as the 6th century B.C., mainly as training for the cavalry.g

Iran is the 18th largest country in the world, with a total of 1,648,195 sq km. It is slightly smaller than Alaska.i

In 2002, Iran admitted that for the previous 18 years, it had worked undercover on a nuclear energy program with help from Russia. President Ahmadinejad says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful and that Iran has an “inalienable right” to produce nuclear fuel.e

Poetry holds a special place in Iranian culture. All Iranians can recite lines from famous Persian poems, such as the most famous poem in Iran called Shahnameh orThe Epic of Kings.n

The Shah-En-Shah monument was erected in 1971 to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. The name has since been changed to the Azadi Monument, which means “freedom” in the Farsi language.l

The first day of spring in Iran is a festive day. Women prepare huge feasts and mothers eat hard-boiled eggs, one for each of their children. According to Persian ritual, the table is set with seven items, each beginning with the letter “s” in Farsi: such as apples (sib), green grass (sabze), vinegar (serkey), berries (senjed), ground wheat (samanoo), a gold coin (sekke), and garlic (sir).f

Women in Iran follow a strict dress code called the hijab. The punishment for not following the hijab is a lashing, although it is not always enforced consistently.e

Polygamy is legal in Iran, and men can marry up to four wives. Once married, a girl can no longer go to high school. The marriage age of girls is currently 13, up from 9 years old after the Revolution. Boys may marry at 15, the legal age Iranians can vote.c

Persian culture is famous for beautiful poetry, luxurious rugs, and lush gardens. In fact, the English word “paradise” comes from a Persian word meaning “enclosed garden.”n

The most popular sport in Iran is soccer. The national team has won the Asian Cup three times and played in three World Cup Final competitions.g

Persians make up the most of Iran (61%), followed by Azeri (16%), Kurd (10%), Lur (6%), Baloch (2%), Arab (2%), Turkmen and Turkic tribes (2%), and other (1%).i

Islam is the dominant religion in Iran at 98%: Shia 89% and Sunni 9%. Other religions, such as Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and the Baha’i faith make up the remaining 2%.i

The Iranian population in 2012 was 78,868,711, making it the 18th most populated country in the world.i

A December 2003 earthquake struck the southeastern city of Bam, Iran, killing more than 30,000 people.i

In Iran, yogurt is referred to as “Persian Milk,” and many Iranians consider yogurt a miracle food. It is used to treat ulcers, relieve sunburn, and even prolong life. Some people use yogurt as a facemask.l 

Timeline g,l,e

2000 B.C. Central Asians migrate to Iran
530-330 B.C. Cyrus the Great founds the Persian Empire
330 B.C. Alexander the Great conquers Persia
323 B.C. Alexander dies; one of his generals forms the Seleucid Dynasty
250 B.C. Parthian invaders establish the Parthian (or Arsacid) Empire
A.D. 224 The Sassanids found the Second Persian Empire
A.D. 637 Arabs conquer Persia; Islam becomes the state religion
1051-1220 Reign of the Seljuks
1258 Mongol invaders establish the Il-Khanid Dynasty
1335 The Mongol dynasty collapses; a succession of minor dynasties follows
1501-1722 The Safavids rule the Third Persian Empire
1796-1925 Reign of the Qajars
1926 Reza Khan founds the Pahlavi Dynasty
1935 Persia is named Iran
1941 British and Soviet forces invade; Reza Khan abdicates in favor of his son
1979 The Islamic Revolution; Ayatollah Khomeini comes to power
1980 Iran becomes an Islamic republic
1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War
1989 Ayatollah Khomeini dies
1997 Muhammad Khatami is elected
2002 U.S. President George W. Bush labels Iran part of an “axis of evil”
2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes president

An energy superpower with the world’s largest natural gas supply and the fourth-largest proven oil reserves

Second-largest nation in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world; the world‘s 17th most populous nation with 79 million inhabitants

Leading industries in the Middle East in car-manufacture and transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, power and petrochemicals

A regional power with major influence in the region

A top five producer in the world of apricots, cherries, sour cherries, cucumbers and gherkins, dates, eggplants, figs, pistachios, quinces, walnuts, and watermelons

Geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz; a major regional and middle power, exerting considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy

Host to Asia‘s 4th-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and home to one of the world‘s oldest civilizations

A multicultural nation comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups

Sustained growth thanks to structural and political reforms

Estimated GDP-growth of between 5% and 8% in 2016-2020

Dynamic institutions encouraging the establishment of companies thanks to favorable fiscal policy and major economic reforms

 

Strong upward trend in EU-trade with Iran

Already during 2014 industry experts reported about a more buoyant business mood in Iran. Now figures confirm these impressions. The overall EU–trade with Iran amounted to 7.5 billion euros in 2014, an increase of 21%.

 

Agribusiness to Prosper Post-Sanctions 

24 August 2015

The latest report by Business Monitor International on Iran’s agribusiness sector predicts an increase in agricultural production in the coming years as a result of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six major world powers in Vienna last month. It will pave the way for a return to economic growth and strong uptick in foreign investment.The industry analysis group forecasts wheat production to increase at an average rate of 6.1% to 15 million tons by the Iranian year 2018/19, owing to modernization of technology, including hardier grains variants, greater access to relevant inputs and a larger area of the country benefiting from new irrigation facilities. Corn output will record similar growth, while barley production is predicted to rise at a faster pace.

Rice harvest output during the current Iranian year (March 21, 2015- March 19, 2016) is estimated to reach 1.7 million tons. Rice production is expected to grow by 9.5% on the 2013/14 level to reach 1.8 million tons in 2018/19.

The livestock and dairy sectors are also likely to benefit, driven by domestic demand and the effects of increased investment. Poultry production is forecast to expand by 15.9% to 927,000 tons by 2018/19. Meanwhile, beef and veal production is expected to expand by 7.7% to 257,600 tons. BMI forecasts dairy production to accelerate in the coming years to reach 8.8 million tons in 2018/19.

However, such an improvement depends on the country doing some key modernization investment, particularly in irrigation, as Iran relies heavily on the vagaries of the weather, according to the report.

Despite the improvements in infrastructure, large areas of the country, particularly in the north and west, are still reliant on rainfed agriculture. These areas also suffer from a lack of mechanization, with a very low density for harvesters compared with the irrigated areas in the south and east of Iran. With the government now in the process of abolishing its subsidies on food, money could become available for funding infrastructure improvements which will, in time, help bring down the cost of food.

Consumption projected to grow
The lifting of sanctions will also have a direct impact on agricultural consumption


BMI predicts that the effect of lifting of sanctions on consumption will be more rapid than its effect on production as food price inflation is likely to ease significantly from the current elevated levels. As such, BMI predicts that Iran’s dependence on imported grain and sugar will grow over the medium term. 

BMI predicts sugar consumption to grow 27.6% to 3 million tons to 2019, mainly driven by population growth and the improved macroeconomic conditions following the lifting of sanctions from 2016.
The report also forecast wheat consumption growing by 10.5% to 2018/19, while corn consumption will rise by 19.5% and barley by 18.9%, boosted by growing animal feed demand. Rice consumption is forecast to grow by 10.2% on the 2014 level to 3.7 million tons in 2019. 

Dairy consumption is expected to grow by 15.1 to 3.1 million tons in 2019, while poultry and meat consumption are expected to expand by 17.9% and 28.1% to 1 million tons and 550,500 tons in 2019 respectively in line with population and disposable income growth.

Re-Diversifying Import Sources 

With the lifting of the sanctions, Iran is likely to re-diversify its import sources. Although food products were not targeted by sanctions, the restrictions made deals and payments between traders difficult. Therefore, Iran has been increasingly relying on Indian food exports–and all products in general–as the country did not back the sanctions and was one of the few countries to have a barter trade system and other payment mechanisms with Iran, which helped India to import oil from Iran and export rice and other items to the country in return. India became Iran’s largest provider of basmati rice and soymeal according to local sources. 

The lifting of the sanction poses a clear risk for Indian exports, as Iran will most likely look to import from a larger set of suppliers again and will turn to Thailand and Pakistan for rice, two traditional exporters to Iran. For sugar, Iran will increase imports from Brazil.

Source: financialtribune.com

References

a Barford, Vanessa. “Iran’s ‘Diagnosed Transsexuals.’” BBC. February 25, 2008. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

b Doughterty, Jill. “State Department Report Ranks Countries on Human Trafficking.” CNN. July 27, 2011. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

c Drew, Paula E.. “Iran. The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. Volume I-IV. Ed. Robert T. Francoeur. 1997-2001. New York, NY: The Continuum Publishing Company. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

d Fast, April. 2005. Iran: The Land (Lands, Peoples, & Cultures). New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company.

e Graham, Amy. 2006. Iran in the News: Past, Present, and Future. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishing, Inc.

f Gray, Leon. 2008. Countries of the World: Iran. 2008. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society.

g Greenblatt, Miriam. 2003. Iran (Enchantment of the World, Second Series). New York, NY: Children’s Press.

h Holgin, Jaime. “Iran: Nose Capital of the World.” CBS Evening News. February 11, 2009. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

i “Iran.” The World Factbook. CIA. March 26, 2012. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

j “Iran’s Soccer Team Thwarted by Hijab Ban.” CBS News. June 7, 2011. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

k McGee, Matt. “Iran: Google Is a Spying Machine.” Search Engine Land. January 10, 2012. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

l Pohl, Kathleen. 2008. Looking at Iran (Looking at Countries). Pleasantville, NY: Gareth Stevens Publishing.

m Rajendra, Vijeya, Gisela Kaplan, and Rudi Rajendra. 2004. Iran (Cultures of the World). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

n Richter, Joanne. 2005. Iran: The Culture. New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company.

o Schubert, Zach. “Iran’s Dark Secret: Child Prostitution and Sex Slaves.” Huffington Post. August 19, 2009. Accessed: March 27, 2012.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif became an overnight hero for leading the Iranian delegation that sealed a deal in Vienna. Even before an official announcement was out, businesses around the world were analyzing what this would mean for them. Sadly, this means little for American businesses, though America led the negotiations. American companies could continue to be left out of Iran unless there is further directive on the US governments’ executive order preventing business with Iran.

American companies are evaluating business opportunities across key industries, including the white goods industry, Iran’s commercial oil and gas exploration, or its aging commercial airline fleet (bringing cheer to Boeing) as civil aviation is not banned in the US executive orders. However, the biggest untapped market is Iran’s educated middle-class population, which is eager to have the best of what the rest of the world offers, and cars are at the top of the list.

Here are some facts to put Iran’s automotive appetite into perspective: over 985,000 passenger vehicles were sold in 2014; the country also executed a “vehicle scrappage” program to discard aged vehicles from its roads and converted all public cars to run on compressed natural gas (this was interesting because oil is cheap and in abundance). Notwithstanding the economic sanctions, Iran is the largest automotive market in the Middle East and roughly one-third the market size of Germany. These sanctions have, in a way, contributed to Iran becoming almost self-reliant in automotive production by means of advancement of Iranian manufacturers like IKCO and SAIPA, which are now local stalwarts in the industry.

I

With the sanctions expected to be lifted, Iran is back on the radar of Western automotive companies as Iranians look forward to a refreshed car lineup. European companies Renault SA and Peugeot were the key international automotive companies in Iran, until the 2012 round of economic sanctions forced them out of the country. Very quickly the Chinese automobile manufacturers filled the void left by the Europeans. Chery, Lifan and Changan are some of the Chinese car brands that are gaining popularity in Iran. This Chinese car invasion clearly draws the battle lines between the Chinese OEMs, which have a foothold on the Iranian market; the European OEMs, which have been business partners in the past; and other Asian OEMs that would like to expand their presence in the Middle East. So where are the Western car companies now? Considering Chinese talk in the market, they have a lot to do to catch up.

The most preferred type of car in Iran has been roomy sedans, comfortable for long drives. Renault is expected to launch its recently showcased mini-crossover Kwid in Iran, as Iran’s basic car segment begins to evolve with similar offerings from other competitors aimed at Millennials. The small-car segment, which is virtually non-existent in Iran, is expected to sell over 250,000 cars annually in 2022 as per Frost & Sullivan research, driven by the urban middle class. The overall passenger vehicle market is expected to grow to 2.3 million units by 2022, more than double from its current numbers.

FS_GFX_Chart_081115_MC

Under the present leadership, Iran is more liberal and business friendly. Iran has reduced direct government involvement in the automobile industry and even reduced import tariffs of hybrid vehicles to just 4%. According to the recent data from Iran’s Customs Administration, import of hybrid cars increased by 112% and import of knock-down parts for car assembly grew 57%. This surprising data is a clear sign that the government is open to having foreign participation in the Iranian auto industry, and foreign participation is gaining pace.

Partnering with a local company is a regulatory requirement in Iran. European and Chinese OEMs are already partnering with influential Iranian automotive business houses that could draft and shape future regulations to favor them. As the Iranian currency is undervalued and companies are cash strapped, there are some amazing business deals at attractive valuations to be made.

As manufacturers make a beeline to Teheran’s influential Sadeghiyeh district, America must act before it is left to pick up the crumbs, like how Ford Motor had to do with China. It is important that American automotive companies and policymakers pay attention to the benefits of being a part of this growth story they helped script in Vienna.

Thanks to Isaac Abraham – Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst, Automotive & Transportation Practice, for his regional contributions.

 

 

Thursday, 15 January 2015 18:33

Healthcare in Iran Rev. 2015

Healthcare in Iran Rev. 2015

 

Health care in Iran

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
Imam Khomeini hospital

Healthcare in Iran is based on three pillars: the public-governmental system, the private sector, and NGOs.[1] The healthcare and medical sector's market value in Iran was almost US $24 billion in 2002 and was forecast to rise to US $31 billion by 2007.[2] With a population of 75 million (2012), Iran is one of the most populous countries in the Middle East. The country faces the common problem of other young demographic nations in the region, which is keeping pace with growth of an already huge demand for various public services. The young population will soon be old enough to start new families, which will boost the population growth rate and subsequently the need for public health infrastructures and services. Total healthcare spending is expected to rise from $24.3 billion in 2008, to $50 billion by 2013, reflecting the increasing demand on medical services.[3] Total health spending was equivalent to 4.2% of GDP in Iran in 2005.[4] 73% of all Iranians have health care coverage.[4] Iran is also the only country with a legal organ trade.[5][6]

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 2000, Iran ranks 58 in health care and 93 in health-system performance.[7]In 2013, Bloomberg News ranked Iran 45th most efficient health care system ahead of United States and Brazil.[8] The report shows life expectancy in Iran is 73 years and per capita spending on healthcare is $346.[8] The health status of Iranians has improved over the last two decades. Iran has been able to extend public health preventive services through the establishment of an extensive Primary Health Care Network.[9] As a result, child and maternal mortality rates have fallen significantly, and life expectancy at birth has risen remarkably. Infant (IMR) and under-five (U5MR) mortality have decreased to 28.6 and 35.6 per 1,000 live births respectively in 2000, compared to an IMR of 122 per 1,000 and a U5MR of 191 per 1,000 in 1970.[10] Immunization of children is accessible to most of the urban and rural population.[4]

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