EghtesadOnline: Fars Province attracted over $466 million worth of foreign investment during the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 20), making it the highest earner among all Iranian provinces.
According to managing director of Foreign Investment Attraction Office of Fars Province, Haleh Fouladfar, Khuzestan with $365 million and Yazd with $346 million ranked second and third respectively, IRNA reported.
She referred to the second phase of South Aluminum Plant (with a capacity of 300,000 tons of aluminum ingots per year) as a major provincial project in terms of investment attraction, both from domestic and foreign sources.
South Aluminum Corporation (SALCO) located in the city of Lamerd, Fars Province, was inaugurated in April.
According to Reza Rahmani, former industries minister, the project will boost Iran’s aluminum production capacity to 785,000 tons per year, once all its development phases come on stream.
“The factory has come with a price tag of more than $1.2 billion,” he had said at the inaugural ceremony.
"Cutting-edge technology has been incorporated into the project and the development of the project is in line with environmental concerns."
Once fully operational, SALCO will create a total of 6,500 direct and indirect jobs, Fars News Agency reported.
The company’s shares are owned by two companies: Ghadir Investment Company with 51% and IMIDRO the rest.
The factory is set to produce a range of aluminum products, including sheets, profiles, ingots, doors, windows, composites, nuts and bolts.
SALCO will start the production of 100,000 tons of aluminum ingots per year. The production capacity is expected to reach 300,000 tons per year in a subsequent phase.
The final production capacity is to reach 1 million tons of aluminum ingots and billets per year.
SALCO is seeking to become Iran’s biggest aluminum producer and the fourth major producer in the Middle East.
Fouladfar noted that 785 industrial plans worth 270,000 billion rials ($1 billion), which generated jobs for 1,927 people, have been started in Fars.
“Despite all the limitations caused by sanctions, foreign investment has so far experienced positive growth,” she said.
Iran attracted $3.8 billion of foreign investment during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 20-Sept. 21) for the projects approved by the Organization for Investment and Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran.
“Absorbing foreign investment is by far better than taking out foreign loans; foreign investment is synonymous with opening a gate to technology, new jobs and improved production,” Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Farhad Dejpasand was quoted as saying by IRNA.
"A foreign investor is in fact Iran’s ambassador in the country where they come from; they would demand their governments to avoid taking decisions that might put their investment in peril. In doing so, relations between the two countries will be strengthened," he added.
Dejpasand noted that at least 7,000-10,000 trillion rials [$26-$37 billion] worth of investment are needed annually to achieve a “surge in production”; absorbing foreign investment would play a significant role toward that direction,” IRNA reported.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei named the new Iranian year, which started on March 20, the year of "Surge in Production".
"Last year's slogan was ‘Boosting Production’ … This year is the year of ‘Surge in Production’… Officials should act in a way that production will witness a surge, God willing, and that there will be a tangible change in the lives of the people," he said during his Iranian New Year speech on March 20, Leader.ir reported.
To achieve this purpose, Ayatollah Khamenei said state entities such as the Plan and Budget Organization, parliament and judiciary, as well as private businesses and knowledge-based organizations have a role to play.
Last year's slogan, according to the Leader, has been implemented and production in the country has moved forward, but what has been done is not even one-tenth of what the country needs.
"This means that we need to do 10 times more work, including research, work related to production and various other tasks, so that the surge in production can influence the lives of people," he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that although the country is facing many economic issues, the role of production is substantial because its promotion will help address them.
"If we can move production forward, God willing, economic problems will definitely come to an end and [the United States] sanctions imposed by them will prove to be to our advantage," he said.