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Iran approves $1.6 billion in new foreign investment projects: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The value of FDI projects in Iran has tripled in four months ending July compared to last year.

Iran has approved 32 new projects with direct investment from foreign nationals as authorities say the value of foreign direct investment (FDI) schemes approved over the past four month has tripled compared to the similar period last year.

A Tuesday report by the Iranian finance ministry said that new FDI projects will be scattered in 12 out of the 31 Iranian provinces with an investment value of $1.6 billion.

The report said the new investment will come from nationals of various countries and will cover projects in energy, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and services sector.

FDI projects should gain the approval of Iran’s Organization for Investment & Economic and Technical Assistance before they can be implemented. The body has endorsed more than $2.4 billion worth of new projects in the current Iranian calendar year that began late March.

The figure shows a three-fold increase year on year in late July, said the finance ministry report, adding that foreigners will bring investment to a total of 60 new projects that have been approved this year.

The growing foreign investment in Iran comes despite restrictions imposed by the United States on the country’s ability to engage in normal banking and finance activities with other countries.

The sanctions, imposed in 2018 after Washington decided to pull out of an international deal on Iran’s nuclear activity, have sought to deter governments and entities around the world from getting involved in development projects in Iran.   

Government figures published earlier this year showed FDI into Iran had declined significantly in the year ending March 2019 at below $1 billion.

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