|Iran seeks foreign investment in agricultural sector: minister||
TEHRAN - Iran is seeking investment by foreign companies in its agricultural sector, Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said in a meeting with his French counterpart Stéphane Le Foll in Paris.
The meeting, which was held at France’s Ministry of Agriculture, was aimed at exploring ways to extend bilateral relations in the agriculture sector, the IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
By producing over 90 million tons of agricultural products per year, Iran is among ten top countries in the world, Hojjati said, adding that Iran is ranked the first worldwide for producing saffron, pomegranates, and pistachios, the second for producing dates and apricots, the third for producing figs and cherries, and the fourth for producing walnuts and apples.
The official said that attracting capital needed for the development of the agriculture sector is a priority of Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture, and that the government has provided all infrastructures to support foreign investment in this sector.
In July 2013, Iranian Deputy Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Behrouz Alishiri said that Iran had offered one hundred percent tax exemption for an unlimited period of time to foreign investment in the agriculture sector.
On May 23, Alishiri said that the government is working to prepare a comprehensive incentive package for attracting foreign investments by end of the coming summer.
One of the striking developments in Iran in recent months has been the large external capital inflows, mostly in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI), thanks largely to its initial progress in macroeconomic stabilization, improved investment regime, and progress in nuclear negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - (Russia, China, the U.S., France, Britain) plus Germany.
Iran and the 5+1 group inked a nuclear accord in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013. The two sides started implementing the agreement on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for the Islamic Republic agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, including a voluntary suspension of its 20-percent uranium enrichment program.
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