Over 100 major projects planned in Tehran for foreign investors: Mayor

Tasnim – Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi highlighted efforts to attract foreign investments to develop the Iranian capital, saying more than 100 mega projects are being planned to be carried out with foreign investments.

Najafi said his key vision for Tehran is to bolster exchanges and contacts with leading cities of the world in finance, entrepreneurship, manufacturing and renewable energy so that the underinvested capital can lure large-scale investments and professionals for industrial diversification in a post-oil economy, the Korea Herald reported on Monday.

Over 100 large-scale projects are being planned for foreign investors, he said, encouraging Korean companies to plow capital into knowledge-based industries, as well as construction, industrial and car manufacturing, electric battery production, air pollution control and waste recycling into energy and fertilizer.

Of particular importance, constructing and expanding the Tehran Metro subway hold much potential, he said, citing the need for expertise in mechanical components, electronic equipment, and software.

The government of Tehran offers municipal guarantees for returns to investment, just as the central government provides sovereign guarantees to investors. Iran has secured a line of credit of 8 billion euros ($9.4 billion) from the Korea Eximbank since August, the country’s biggest loan since the nuclear deal that will finance Korean firms’ projects in Iran, the report said.

“Over the last four years since the launch of the Rouhani administration in August 2013, many effective programs and initiatives for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have materialized,” explained Najafi, adding he, too, pays keen attention to the issue.

“Knowledge-based SMEs have expanded as a result in Tehran. My administration has identified zones for attracting knowledge-intensive companies, modeling ‘Station F’ in France,” he added, referring to the world’s biggest startup incubator in Paris. Refashioned from an old train station, the venture ecosystem covering 34,000 square meters has the capacity for more than 3,000 startups, eight event spaces, 30 shower stalls, 60 meeting rooms and 100 shared apartments for entrepreneurs.

Najafi underlined that Tehran — the main industries of which include the manufacturing of automobiles, electronics, electrical equipment, textiles, sugar, cement and chemical products, alongside government jobs, labor-intensive services and management of oil refineries — aims to replicate France’s experience to nurture and protect the growth of its SMEs.