By: Ebrahim Fallahi

Tehran hosts specialized panel on energy Fintech

February 5, 2019 - 21:21

TEHRAN – Iran Water and Power Resources Development Company (IWPCO) in collaboration with Research Institute for Energy Management and Planning (RIEMP) as well as Farab Construction Engineering Company hosted a specialized panel meeting on Tuesday to discuss energy Financial Technology (Fintech) in Iran and specifically Energy Credit Obligation (ECO).

Chris Cook, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategy, Resilience and Security Studies at University College London and a leading global expert in energy markets and financial technology, and Mahmood Khaghani, one of Iran's experienced and informed energy experts were the key speakers of the panel.

The event was also attended by Ali Shams Ardakani, the head of Energy Commission at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), and a handful of Iranian businessmen and energy experts along with officials from the British embassy in Tehran including Qumrun Naher, the deputy director of the British embassy’s department for international affairs, and Maryam Najafi, a senior trade advisor with the embassy.

During the meeting, Cook elaborated on the necessity for a new energy paradigm for Iran – or what he would call it “a 21st Century energy strategy”.

According to Cook, U.S. sanctions have increased Iran’s resilience not only in economy but also in other aspects like technology and expertise.

The expert called energy Fintech and ECO “a historic opportunity for Iran to mobilize both idle capital, and an underemployed, smart and well-educated population to literally energize not only Iran but the entire region, in an Energy Revolution.”

Further in the meeting, Cook presented a brief introduction to Fintech in general and ECO in particular and then explained how ECO system is going to work.

As he put it: “in this system energy producers could issue ECOs which are promises issued by producers in exchange for value received. The producers undertake to accept these credits instead of dollars, Euros, or rials in exchange for future supplies of gas or oil and will mutually accept each other’s credits within a mutual assurance agreement.”

Khaghani for his part mentioned the U.S. dollar dominance and its consequences for Iran’s economy, saying “Iran has suffered from the U.S.’s financial weapon for decades and currently the need for a global payment and clearing platform no longer subject to domination by any nation is felt more than ever.”

According to Khaghani energy Fintech could be this platform and ECO could significantly diminish the impact of the dominant U.S. dollar or even Euro in Iran’s economy.


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