With more than 81 million people and some of the world’s most abundant natural resources, Iran has the potential to be an economic super power. It holds 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and 15 percent of its gas reserves, and has the fifth biggest quantity of natural resources, valued in 2016 at an estimated $27.3 trillion.
With more than $300bn of projects planned or underway, Iran currently is the sixth biggest projects market in the Middle East and North Africa. And with nearly half of all projects in Iran still at either the design or study stages, the Islamic Republic, on paper at least, offers enormous potential for anyone seeking major new business opportunities in the region.
But, and this is a big but, the Iranian projects market has been closed off to international companies by the re-imposition in August 2018 of US sanctions, which seek to put an economic straightjacket on the country. The sharp drop in oil prices in 2020 has created enormous challenges for the economy and will pose difficult questions to the government.
If and until sanctions are lifted – the chances of this happening anytime soon appear remote – it is difficult to see how Iran can accelerate its project plans. Without international contractors and financing, and with its own finances severely strained, Tehran’s options will continue to be very limited.
Iran Projects H1 2020 is the update to last year’s H1 report. Focused on data, it is aimed at helping companies create strategies for targeting and growing the market. It uses almost exclusively data from MEED Projects, the region’s leading online projects tracking service. With 15,000 active projects tracked and more than 35,000 in total in the database, MEED Projects makes it possible to quantify current, historical and future trends in the projects market in the region.