Foreign Firms to Invest $1 Billion in Iran’s Ports
Foreign firms are expected to make nearly $1 billion of investment in the country’s port and shipping industry. That, according to the managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Mohammad Saeednejad.
Since the removal of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, under a deal negotaited between Iran and six countries, various foreign delegations have travelled to Iran and expressed willingness to invest in the country’s port and maritime projects, Saeednejad told the Tasnim news agency.
Iran is also the second largest country in the Middle East with a population of 80 million, an estimated GDP of $435 billion, and expected growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years. The country is also positioned as a global trade gateway to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a market of more than 400 million people.
Nine major foreign investors have so far submitted their bids to develop Shahid Rajaee port in Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas, he said, adding that the proposals are under study.
“New contracts worth nearly $1 billion to develop the country’s ports will be signed this year,” the Iranian port official said, referring to the Iranian year which ends March 20.
In June, India pledged to contribute $500 million to the development of a port at Chabahar in southern Iran, as part of a deal that also includes Afghanistan. The deal helps provide India with access to markets in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
Saeednejad also said that 17 major international shipping lines have chosen the country’s ports among their ports of call.
Among others, the world’s largest container carrier Maersk Line has reentered the Iran market after a five-year absence. Maersk’s Iran business will be managed by a team that oversees a cluster of countries,which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.
In recent months, Iran’s southern Shahid Rajaei port and other major ports have turned into major hubs for shipping and transship activities. The Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization have rated thee facilities as suitable for international vessels following the removal of the sanctions.
But even with the easing of sanctions following the nuclear deal, a raft of other trade restrictions remain in place.