The 5th edition of the International Exhibition of Exchange, Banking, Insurance and Privatization alongside10th edition of “Kish INVEX 2018”, an annual investment event that seeks to boost the investment in Iran by introducing investment opportunities and offering a convenient networking space for those both on the receiving and giving end of investment chain, was held at Kish International Exhibition Center.
In this international event, Iranian companies together with their foreign counterparts introduce their latest accomplishments in the fields of banking, insurance, privatization, stock, and investment. In the opening of this event, the president of TCCIMA addressed the attendees and stated that one of the main issues in the economic arena of Iran is its prolonged decision-making processes. He exemplified that in critical instances such as the reaching an agreement over its nuclear program otherwise known as JCPOA or joining FATF convention the decision-making process became so extensively lengthy that resulted in lots of fritter and wasted opportunities for Iran. Khansari explained that many of the foreign exchange problems that we now face are also the result of the malpractice in the decision-making. He argued that Iran needs to follow the path that countries like Turkey, Malaysia, China, and South Korea have pursued in last few decades which is allowing their private sectors to be in charge of economic affairs and economic development.
Photo from: kish.ir
Khansari then talked about the collaboration between TCCIMA and the Fraser Institution, a renowned international rating agency and explained that a number of chief executive of the Fraser Institute were invited to Iran last year to discuss the problems Iran faces with respect to attracting foreign investors and forming a more productive bond with the international community. Khansari noted that the executives of the Fraser Institute believe that Iran lacks competency when it comes to attracting not only foreign investment but also the assets of the affluent Iranians who live outside Iran. He further disclosed the outcome of a survey that was undertaken by TCCIMA noting that 75% of the participants of this survey believed that the situation for the private sector in Iran is heading downwards and a more 79% believed that a declining private sector is equivalent to an even more flawed and trembling economy.
On another note, Khansari argued that with Iran’s exchange rate getting closer to its actual value, there is now a great chance to improve and enhance Iran’s export and outrun the regional competitors. He stressed that without an active private sector whose viewpoints and recommendations are taken into consideration and put into action by the government it is not likely for Iran’s economy to improve on any level.
Ferial Mostofi, the president of the Centre of Investment and Consultancy Services of TCCIMA also opened her speech on the Kish INVEX event by stressing on the importance of attracting foreign investment in economic development. Mostofi explained that in order to achieve this end we need to facilitate the circumstances for investors by eradicating legal complexities and confusions, eliminating obstacles that stand in the way of investors, controlling the inflation rate and creating a safe space for them all around. Mostofi argued that to enhance the economic milieu in Iran we must copy and apply the solutions and pathways of countries that have succeeded in this line and let the “real” private sector to participate in both the decision-making process as well as taking actions. She explained that one of the ways to evaluate a country’s economy for a potential investor is through looking at the country’s rankings in “economic freedom” and “economic competitiveness” indexes. The Fraser Institute has introduced 5 components of the “economic freedom” as followed: size of government; legal system and property rights; sound money; freedom to trade internationally and regulation. Mostofi said that given that Iran’s ranking in these indexes was and still is very undesirable the TCCIMA in collaboration with the Center of Investment invited the chief executives of the Fraser Institute to seek out solutions and ways to improve Iran’s ranking. Mostofi added that following the first event a number of other specialized meetings were held in TCCIMA with representatives of the government as well as the private sector and economic and statistic experts to further examine the 5 components of the “economic freedom” index and outline a plan of action as how to improve Iran’s scores and rankings. Mostofi indicated that TCCIMA’s efforts were efficacious by the end and in the latest Fraser’s report, Iran’s improved scores in the areas of “size of government” and “access to sound money” had led to an incline of 19 spots in Iran’s overall ranking.
Mostofi also talked about the agenda of the Center of Investment and why it was found in the first place explaining that: this center was designed and promoted by TCCIMA with an aim to facilitate the circumstances for the foreign investors to come to Iran on the one hand and on the other, to identify economically and practically reasonable and solid projects and mediate the relation between the two groups. Mostofi stressed that the ultimate goal of this centre is to enhance Iran’s economy by empowering the real private sector in Iran, connecting it to the international community and hence attracting foreign investments.