EghtesadOnline: The government has eased conditions for foreign investors applying for residence permits by reducing the minimum investment.
Foreign investors henceforth will be eligible for five-year residence permits if they invest €90,000. This is while in the past foreigners needed to invest at least $250,000 to be able to get a residence permit, Abolfazl Koudei, head of the foreign investment department at the Investment and Economic-Technical Assistance Organization of Iran, said.
"The proposal was put forward by the economy minister to help attract foreign investment. The rule also includes executives and foreign technicians employed by overseas firms as well as their spouses and children," IBENA quoted him as saying.
"Attracting investment mainly from neighboring countries is a key objective.”
Foreigners who have made long-term investments in the past can also benefit from the new rule, he said, adding that investors can refer to the organization's website at investiniran.ir to submit their application forms.
Foreign direct investment in Iran declined 10% in 2020 compared to the year before, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Based on the World Investment Report 2021, the UN agency put Iran’s FDI inflow at $1.34 billion in 2020, which was down 11% compared to $1.508 billion in 2019.
Iran saw FDI inflow of $3.37 billion and $5.01 billion in 2016 and 2017 after the landmark 2016 nuclear deal with world powers.
The nuclear agreement opened the way for foreign companies flocking to the Iranian market untapped after years of pent-up demand as a result of years of international sanctions related to its nuclear energy program and other issues.
However, the amount fell to $2.37 billion in 2018, mostly under the influence of the new economic sanctions imposed by the United States under Donald Trump who unilaterally withdrawal from the 2015 agreement.
UNCTAD estimated the FDI inward stock of Iran in 2020 at $58.7 billion, and said its FDI outward stock was near $4.05 billion that year.
FDI stocks measure the total level of direct investment at a given point in time, usually the end of a quarter or of a year. The outward FDI stock is the value of the resident investors’ equity in and net loans to enterprises in foreign economies.
Inward FDI stock is the value of foreign investors’ equity in and net loans to enterprises resident in the reporting economy. FDI stocks are measured in USD and as a share of GDP.