Iran is looking to tap foreign direct investment (FDI) for many of its planned projects in the post-sanctions era, now that the country can effectively access international debt markets. Oil revenue is projected at around 25% of the total budget revenue in the new Iranian year starting on 21 March, and Iran is looking to accelerate the diversification away from high oil dependence. As things stand, the main driver for the falling contribution of oil to the Iranian economy is low oil prices, rather than growth in other sectors.

But a prerequisite for attracting FDI is to ensure the presence of a suitable economic environment which is transparent and competitive and facilitates a strong private sector role in the economy. Iranian officials at the CECE Iran After the Embargo Conference in January sought to extoll the opportunities on offer and to praise the legal framework. From the response of delegates, much more work is required on the latter (MEES, 29 January). (CONTINUED - 1157 WORDS)