EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani has ordered the National Development Fund of Iran to prepare a plan to attract foreign investments, according to a board member of the fund who also referred to measures taken for boosting foreign relations through other channels.
“For increasing the attraction of foreign funds, Iran’s sovereign wealth fund has prioritized a number of projects outlined by the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22), including the country’s incomplete construction projects,” Alireza Saedi, a board member of the fund, was quoted as saying by IBENA.
“Of the 70,000 projects, a total of 14,000 in the form of public–private partnership contracts can be turned over to the private sector, apart from the ministries’ infrastructural projects such as Iran Petroleum Contracts, regional development projects and private sector projects coordinated with the Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture.”
Saedi also outlined a general policy decided upon by the fund for bolstering local and foreign ties in the near future, Financial Tribune reported.
The NDFI board member said the participation of the fund in syndicates with credible foreign banks and institutions, such as the Islamic Development Bank, small European banks and the sovereign wealth funds of other countries that have expressed interest in having bilateral relations with Iran, is part of the fund’s foreign policies.
Saedi referred to establishing a sovereign fund that would see other countries join in as members as one of NDFI’s future plans.
$2.5 Billion Deposited in Banks
One of the functions of the national development fund is that it deposits a portion of its resources with agent banks at a zero interest rate. The banks then allocate the resources as loans to various projects as they see fit.
According to NDFI’s director for investment deals, the fund has deposited 112 trillion rials ($2.5 billion) at agent banks during the current fiscal year ending March 20.
“Resources of the fund go to transformative and supplementary projects, industries and mines, tourism, water and agriculture, while rial and foreign exchange deals are struck considering the expenses, resources and commitments of projects,” Masoud Esfandiar also told ISNA.
According to the official, $2.5 billion have been deposited at 22 agent banks and the fund’s foreign exchange deals in the next fiscal year amount to 13.85 trillion rials ($310 million).
“A total of 39.5 trillion rials ($882 million) of the fund’s resources have been deposited with the banks to provide working capital for export units and implement policies for supporting non-oil exports,” he said.
Esfandiar noted that 15 trillion rials ($335 million) of NDFI resources have been entrusted to banks with the aim of creating sustainable employment in rural areas.