WHY IRAN


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Iran has vast energy and mineral reserves, a young and well-educated population, an appetite for a more liberalized and privatized economy, and a strategic geographic location. After Turkey, Iran has the largest economy in PPP terms in the Middle East and Central Asia region with a sizeable and diversified non-oil sector.

Population

With a population of 77 million, Iran ranks 17th in the world in terms of population and is the most populous country in the Middle East after Egypt. Approximately 2 million people turn 20 every year, entering production and consumption age; as an engine for growth, Iran’s young demography promises a significant and consistent economic boom (64% of the population are below the age of 35). The population is also well educated with over 4 million university students (over half of whom are women) and a literacy rate of over 85%. There is now a large middle class with increased income distribution equality and changing consumption patterns, with annual family net expenditure increasing rapidly.


Resources

Iran has the world’s largest combined hydrocarbon reserves (1st in terms of natural gas reserves and 4th in terms of oil reserves) with cheap extraction costs. It also has enormous mineral reserves, particularly in copper, iron ore, zinc and lead – a great deal of the mining sector has been privatized, and there is much need for technology and investment.

Capital Markets

The Tehran Stock Exchange is a large, liquid exchange with relatively low PE ratios and high dividend yields. There is a great diversity of sectors on the market and it is the chosen vehicle for Iran’s vast privatization plans. Iran has been emerging from a closed economic model with privatization a government priority.




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