Iran 2017 | FINANCE | COLUMN

TBY talks to Behzad Golkar, CEO, Raha International Group Company on the sector.

Behzad Golkar

What needs to be done to reconnect Iranian banks to international markets?

The first challenge is that Iranian banks use the GAP Iranian system, which is based on book value and different from the internationally used IFRS system. The second challenge is complying with international banking standards such as AML, FATF, and KYC. The third challenge is that no Iranian banks have custodian accounts licensed inside of Iran. The Central Bank of Iran did a difficult job last year translating banks' financial reports to international standards. However, it will take two or three years to modify Iranian financial reports and to adjust the recording and bookkeeping of all accounts and financial records.

Which segments of the market offer the best opportunities for foreign investors?

The ICT-based services sector is attractive at this moment, for both Iranian and international investors. This sector is growing at a rapid pace and almost everything can be ordered online, with quick delivery and competitive prices. There are many opportunities in e-commerce services. In manufacturing, I see opportunities in the pharmaceutical and automobile industry. The capacity in car manufacturing in Iran is unique compared to other countries in the Middle East. Also, the food and beverage industry, in particular dairy, is interesting.