EghtesadOnline: Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture has outlined the expectations of private sector from the government in the wake of the recent incendiary remarks made by US President Donald Trump against Iran.
At the gathering, in which the influential business establishment played host to the head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, Parviz Fatah, TCCIM Director Masoud Khansari delivered a keynote speech.
“The most important development in the past few days has been the speech made by US President Donald Trump on Friday, which focused on US departure from JCPOA [the acronym for the Iran nuclear deal with international powers], but what actually happened was mostly profanity and insult, leaving decision-making on the issue to the congress,” he was quoted as saying by TCCIM’s news portal.
Khansari said Iran was totally isolated before the nuclear deal and a general consensus had shaped against the country while now in a U-turn, most countries, especially those in Europe, have rejected Trump’s remarks and this not only did not harm, but also served to unite the people, Financial Tribune reported.
However, he added that it is up to the US Congress to review JCPOA in a few months, so Iran must think and act now to prevent volatility in the markets, protect itself from any adverse decisions and buttress its economy.
In line with this, “an internal solidarity must be formed between the public and all the components of the administration in political matters, while we must resolve economic challenges facing us resolutely at the earliest”.
Khansari reiterated the longstanding demand of unifying the dual foreign exchange rates in the Iranian market and free float the rial rate.
Noting that one of the first markets to be influenced by any outside factor is the currency market, the TCCIM chief said it would be much better for the government to first manage the situation and decide upon real exchange rates for foreign currencies instead of allowing temporary trends to influence the market.
“The second thing that can help forge international solidarity and the economy is improving the climate of doing business,” he said.
According to the official, entrepreneurs face a host of issues, as the government is too big and its scope too wide while Iran’s standing in terms of international indicators are less than satisfactory, calling on the government to prioritize deregulation and reduce its meddling.
Reforming the banking system and government subsidies was the next issue highlighted by Khansari who said high interest rates, cash subsidies and cheap fuel prices mean people can simply put their money in the banks and need not work, which means low investments in the country.
The private sector also expects the administration of President Hassan Rouhani to reimburse its arrears to contractors in various sectors, as government debts to private sector players has reached a “critical point”, presenting hurdles for companies and crippling their businesses.
IKRC’s Agreement to Help Children
In continuation of joint ventures between TCCIM and Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, they signed an agreement for implementing a scheme aimed at eliminating malnutrition in children under the age of six.
As IKRC had last year signed a deal to return Bazarganan Hospital to the Tehran chamber, a report on the hospital’s performance was provided by its director.
As Khansari outlined, TCCIM wishes to outfit and renovate the hospital, located in southeast Tehran, to transform it into the most equipped and specialized hospital in the Iranian capital.