Opportunities in post-sanctions Iran discussed at Future Energy Forum meeting
Business and legal experts on Iran gave their insights to doing business in the post-sanction era at the inaugural Iran Club meeting organised by the Future Energy Forum (FEF) on Wednesday 11th May in Dubai.
Commenting on the launch of the Iran Club, Christos Charalambous, Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing said:
“The Future Energy Forum’s inaugural Iran Club event was a resounding success. The variety of expert speakers allowed for engaging and thought-provoking discussion, demonstrating that one thing is certain; the re-emergence of Iran is an important topic, not only for the oil and gas sector, but for the global economy and geopolitical landscape as a whole.”
The Iran Club meeting follows other successful Clubs on Iraq and Mozambique as part of a series of informative and engaging events organised by the FEF.
Presentations and discussions at the Iran Club centred on the issue of entering or re-entering the country and how international companies can do business there. Speakers not only highlighted the business opportunities in a post-sanctions Iran but also noted some caution in doing so.
Commenting on Iran’s post-sanctions future, Charalambous, said:
“Iran has ambitious plans to grow its energy sector and it has proven to be resolute in this pursuit since the majority of the sanctions lifted in early 2016, exceeding most analysts’ expectations.”
This was reinforced by Robin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy who told the audience:
“Iran is one of the most important energy investment opportunities to emerge in recent years, with some $500 billion of capital required.”
Echoing these sentiments, Mazdak Rafaty, Managing Partner of Ludwar International Consulting said:
“Don’t look at Iran just as a market with numerous obstacles and problems but as a huge country with countless opportunities. While entering the post-sanction Iranian market you should be aware that the Iranians are seeking three main aspects: technological independence, sustainable development and innovative use of their natural resources.”
These elements create huge investment opportunities for international businesses in the energy sector. However, extensive due diligence should be carried out and caution should be the watchword when working in Iran. Mills commented on some of the issues that investors will have to consider, saying:
“Challenges including political disputes, sanctions and banking restrictions externally, and bureaucracy and factional debates internally, demand investors develop a sophisticated understanding of the country and potential partners before moving ahead.”
“It remains to be seen how the enduring US sanctions will affect Iran’s progress in this respect and, more notably, whether the remaining sanctions will deter investment from the European financial sector.”