Iran FDI increased nearly four times in five years: Report

Foreign inflows into Iranian financial assets have increased by nearly four times in five years, shows a report which highlights government measures to facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

The report published by Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization (PBO) on Monday showed that net FDI flows for the year ending in March 2018 totaled $5.1 billion.

It said the figure, which is just over one percent of Iran’s GDP, showed an increase of 390 percent compared to the same period in 2013 when the total inflows reported by PBO were $1.3 billion.

The report covered in the semi-official ISNA agency said the figures were related to the investment approved by the government and published in official budget announcements. It said actual investment that had taken place in the 12-month period may differ from government figures.

The surge in FDI comes amid Iran’s efforts to boost inflows of investment amid American sanctions that have hampered government’s access to foreign currencies.

Foreign investors flocked to Iran after the country signed a major nuclear agreement with international powers in July 2015, allowing sanctions that had hampered economic activity to be lifted.

However, a unilateral decision by the United States last year to withdraw from the nuclear deal led to a renewed wave of sanctions on Iran and caused investors to abandon projects they had launched in the country.

However, the government recently announced measures to increase FDI and encourage foreigners to get involved in new economic and industrial ventures in Iran.

Among them was a promise to grant five-year residency to investors who spend over $250,000 or its equivalent in other major currencies in Iran.

Checks in airports and arrival points have also been eased to help investors and tourists avoid potential problems that might be caused by US sanctions when they visit other countries .

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