Country Information


Opportunities in oil and gas

Iran has the world's second largest natural gas reserves and fourth largest oil reserves, and is a major producer of petrochemical products. However, these industries have suffered from years of under-investment due to sanctions.

Iran is now playing catch-up in a bid to regain its market share of the global oil and gas industry, presenting rich for foreign companies that can invest in technologies and products to develop this industry.


Vast untapped potential

With a population of 82 million and the second largest economy in the region (after Saudi Arabia), Iran’s economic potential stands out in the current global economic landscape of slowing growth.

Long-standing economic sanctions were recently lifted in 2016, allowing foreign companies to once again trade with Iran and inject much-needed investment into the country.

There is also strong demand for products and services, due to past under-investment in this area. This means significant opportunities for Singapore companies, which are well-placed to fulfil the needs of Iran’s consumers.


Diverse, resilient economy

Relative to the region, Iran’s economy is well-diversified beyond oil and gas, with automotive, manufacturing, agriculture and mining industries being other major components of its economy. The country is actively seeking partners in urban solutions and infrastructure projects to support its overall economic development. Its huge domestic market with a pent-up demand for foreign goods is also attractive for retail and consumer goods companies.


Venture to Iran

Iran is a country of vast size and potential. With a total GDP of over US$412 billion in 2016, it is the second largest economy in the Middle East (after Saudi Arabia)1. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, Iran is ranked an impressive 19th in the world in terms of GDP per capita2.

Furthermore, Iranian authorities use a clear strategy of market-based reforms, with the country now in its sixth five-year development plan for 2016 to 2021. Priorities under this plan include the financial and banking industry, the allocation and management of oil revenues, and reforms of state-owned enterprises.

1: World Bank, 2017

2: CIA World Factbook, 2016



Geography: As the second largest country in the region, Iran occupies a strategic location in the Middle East. The Caspian Sea is to the country’s north, while it has a long coast line to the south that stretches along the Persian Gulf, Straits of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. It shares borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, Turkey and Iraq to the west, and Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east.

Population: 82 million (est. July 2017)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking: 124th (June 2017)

Economic Freedom Ranking: 155th (2017)

Bilateral Trade: S$2.6 billion (2012 pre-sanctions); S$965.9 million (2016, after lifting of sanctions)

Currency Used: Iranian Rial (IRR)

Language: Persian (Farsi)

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