“It is harder to crack prejudice than atom” says Albert Einstein.
We have been meeting with various businessmen from different industries since we have established PERIS-SCOPE, and almost every conversation ties to one common question, “but how safe is Iran for an investor”.
Iran has been facing endless sanctions worldwide since the revolution 37 years ago, and this obviously limited the country’s mega potential. These sanctions have been implemented in various kinds, from banning any imports/exports from Iran, to preventing any trading transactions with Iranian companies by blacklisting the Iranian banks and stopping all SWIFT transactions. These sanctions and barriers definitely had an impact on Iran’s economy, but it will never shadow the reality that, Iran with its rich natural resources, well educated people, long and rich history and its political power within the region, is one of the world’s most important actors.
Obviously these sanctions prevented the foreign investors to come to Iran and benefit from the endless potential, but the prejudice about Iran still remains as a myth among lot of them. And this Myth is not only limited to the business environment. According to an article published on The Telegraph on 12 October 2016, a number of the World’s leading women chess players have announced they won’t attend the World Chess Championship in Iran in February 2017 due to the fact that the international female players are requested to wear headscarves during the Championship. The argument even outlines a statement that women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second class citizens! I believe Albert Einstein was clearly pointing out this type of prejudice and its difficulty to crack.
Recently I came up with a video on YouTube intelligently dramatizing this prejudice about Iran.
Did you know that Iran is currently one of the most searched-for holiday destinations on the internet, along with Jamaica, according to comparison site cheapflights.co.uk?
All these sanctions and exclusions have prevented Iran and Iranian people to fully integrate with the rest of the world and was definitely successful in pampering these prejudices, but this chapter will soon come to an end.
According to a concluding statement published by IMF on 3 October 2016, Iran’s economy minister and head of the International Monetary Fund met after 20 years. IMF President Christine Lagarde has promised to launch consultations with US authorities to remove barriers on cooperation between international and Iranian banks. She further touched upon IMF’s plan to launch a fresh round of collaborations with Iran saying “proposals for cooperation will be made to Iran over various areas like training and exchange of experience and technical knowledge with other states.”
Also at the meeting, Iran’s Tayebnia said Iran has started infrastructural and structural reforms within the framework of Resistance Economy as economic roadmap.
The IMF report suggests that real GDP in Iran rebounded strongly over the first half of the year as sanctions eased post-JCPOA implementation. Oil production and exports rebounded quickly to pre-sanction levels, helping cushion the impact of low global oil prices. Increased activity in agriculture, auto production, trade and transport services has led the recovery in growth in the non-oil sector. Real GDP is projected to grow by at least 4.5 percent in 2016/17.
These developments are expected to have 3 major impacts on Iranian economy:
- The GDP increase driven by the increase in sales production and its positive impact on other industries
- The significant reduction international commercial costs
- Liberalization of the economy with the international investors arrival.
This will result in a significant shift in the purchasing power of the Iranian consumers mainly for the Middle class which is estimated to be 70% of the Iranian population.
That’s why it is time to really understand (crack your prejudice) who these people are, what are their needs and how to create the right value for them.
Obviously accessing the genuine knowledge in Iran is one of the major challenges to develop a winning market entry strategy and execute the right market entry plans. Today, majority of the available reports about Iran on the Industries, Competitive Analysis, Market Trends, Market Knowledge, the Business Environment, Legal structures, Foreign Investment opportunities are infected with the prejudice and far from the reality. That’s why we strongly recommend our clients to execute tailor made researches answering their specific questions to provide them the true knowledge and plan for a sustainable business planning for their Iran Market entry plans.
At PERIS-SCOPE we promise “Confidence of Making the Right Choices” (free from prejudices).