EghtesadOnline: Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture–the country's biggest private-sector assembly–issued a business manifesto on Tuesday, outlining the Iranian private sector's expectations from the next government, whose head will be elected in the upcoming presidential elections on May 19.
TCCIM notes that the role and importance of private sector in the Iranian economy must be redefined, adding that a temporary jump in production will not ensure stable economic growth, therefore any measure in line with monopolization and ineffective distribution of resources must end.
The private sector is looking forward to "the real elimination of government interference by ending the hold of government ownership and management in economic endeavors", removing the title of "non-government" from all rules and regulations, "equality and lack of discrimination in allocating incentives to all businesses" and a further inclusion of the private sector in decision-making.
According to the TCCIM manifesto, international evidence clearly indicates that Iran's business climate is unsuitable for business activities, therefore it asks for the removal of red tape, difficulties concerning taxes, empowering the rule of law, a complete clearance of government arrears to the private sector and easing the process of bankruptcy for ineffective businesses, Financial Tribune reported.
A "complete and thorough reform of the banking system with the aim of making the money market more competitive and easing the access of businesses to credit, removal of burdensome regulations in the capital market and providing guarantees to receive finance and attract foreign investors in partnership with private businesses," are among measures expected by the private sector from the new government.
The manifesto puts emphasis on combating widespread corruption in the government, calling for identifying all regulations and directives that create the grounds for corruption. It also calls for a removal of factors that generate economic and administrative corruption and asks for regularly releasing transparent reports to the public.
The 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Iran at 131 from among a total of 176 countries, with an overall score of 29/100.
TCCIM notes that the economy must become more competitive and a" self-sufficient and outward-looking" growth model must take hold.
In line with this goal, the National Competition Center must be overhauled, the current dual foreign exchange regime should be ditched, energy subsidies have to be removed and the tariffs regime be reformed.
Furthermore, it calls for accelerating the process of joining World Trade Organization, promoting effective interactions with other countries for attracting foreign investment and launching a serious crackdown against organized smuggling of goods.
The chamber also calls for a restructuring of the government by reducing its dependency on oil revenues, using more expert workforce and better planning its expenses.
It reminds that considering the scope of recession in economic sectors and the fact that the housing sector is yet to recover, efforts must be made for revitalizing the sector and preventing the return of recession by reviewing macroeconomic policies and employing local and international experts for creating incentives for Iranian investors to become more active outside the country.
Referring to a rise in unemployment rate and the negative growth rate in workforce productivity as important challenges facing the Iranian economy, the manifesto stresses that young entrepreneurs, startups and knowledge-based activities must be given added importance.
TCCIM promotes a more efficient use of natural and environmental resources, especially in light of climate change and the fact that the country is facing a shortage of water resources.
The manifesto was unveiled and read out at the last meeting of the board of representatives of the Tehran chamber, which was also attended by the representatives of the private sector.
TCCIM President Masoud Khansari was the keynote speaker who listed the achievements of President Hassan Rouhani as reducing inflation, improving trade balance, increasing growth rate and adding jobs, which indicate the success of the government in the last fiscal year that ended on March 21.