Located in the southwest of Asia, Iran is the second largest country in the Middle East, and the eighteenth-largest country in the world. With population of 85.8 million (2021), and GDP of 447.94 $billion at constant prices in 2020, Iran is significant regional economy. Iran has land and sea borders with 15 countries which offer an easy access to attractive potential market of over 300 million.
Iran, officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country located in Western Asia and is one of the largest and most populous countries in the region. It has a rich and diverse culture, with a history that dates back to ancient times, and is home to numerous historical sites and monuments.
Since the 2nd Century BC, Iran has been at the heart of the Silk Road, facilitating trade and acting as a hub for the exchange of ideas and knowledge between the East and the West. The economics that governed trade for 2 millennia are still in place; at the crossroad of the East and the West and straddling the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, Iran is a natural hub for the production of goods and services to serve a vast regional market.
Iran’s economy is characterized by its hydrocarbon, agriculture, and service sectors, as well as noticeable manufacturing and financial services. Iran ranks second in the world for natural gas reserves and fifth for proven crude oil reserves.
Main Economic Advantages
Iran is strategically located at the crossroads of major trade routes between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, providing businesses with access to a large consumer base and markets. This makes Iran an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand their reach and access new markets.
- Strategic Location
- Oil and Gas
Iran is one of the largest oil-producing countries in the world and is a major player in the global energy market. Iran ranks second in the world for natural gas reserves and fifth for proven crude oil reserves. Despite the challenges posed by international sanctions, the economy has remained resilient, and the government of Iran has taken steps to increase efficiency and competitiveness, such as reducing the cost of production and increasing the efficiency of its refineries.
As the world’s largest producer of saffron, second-biggest producer of pistachios and the third-largest producer of dates, honey, and walnuts in the world, Iran has been among the top exporters of agri-food products in the world, also the world’s top producers of many agricultural products. The country is blessed with fertile land and a favorable climate conditions which allow the production of a diverse range of agricultural products. The agriculture sector is a key contributor to the country’s food security and economy, with the government of Iran making significant investments in modernizing and upgrading infrastructure, increasing productivity, and promoting sustainable and responsible farming practices.
Iran is one of the largest mineral producing countries in the world and has an abundant supply of minerals including iron, copper, gold, lead, and zinc. With 68 types of minerals, Iran Ranks in the top 15 major mineral rich countries in the world. Having the world’s largest zinc deposits, Iran is also 4th in Cement, 9th largest Copper and Iron deposits and 11th largest lead deposits. Iran has the Middle East’s largest Gold reserves.
- Transport and Communication
Iran with unique geographical location at the heart of a cross-road linking the Middle East, Asia and Europe, empowered by inter and trans-regional trade, customs, tax and investment arrangements.
Having common border on the north by the Caspian Sea and on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, has allowed Iran to access more than 5,800 km of coastal strip. Iran has a privileged position in transit, since having access to the Eurasian countries from the north, east to the Central Asian countries and from the West with a land border with Turkey and thus using a part of the Silk Road.
The geographic location over the transatlantic crossroads has turned the country to the transit axis on the North-South and East-West corridors and so it plays an important role in international economy.
Iran has a well-developed transportation network, including roads, railways, airports, and ports, providing businesses with efficient and reliable access to markets. This infrastructure makes it easier for businesses to import and export goods, reducing the cost and time associated with transporting goods.
The construction sector is also a significant contributor to the economy, with the government of Iran implementing policies and regulations to support the growth and development of the industry.
The health sector is a priority for the government of Iran, with the country having a well-developed healthcare system that provides access to quality medical services and treatments. The health system of the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved a top position, approved by the World Health Organization, in the region. The government has made significant investments in modernizing and upgrading infrastructure, increasing access to modern technologies, and promoting public health awareness.
Iran has gained many health achievements in the past decades and the life expectancy at birth has increased to more than 77 year for both sexes, neonatal mortality rate per 1000 live births has been reduced to less than 10, under 5 mortality rate is 15, and maternal mortality ratio 17 per 100,000 live birth. Iran has a system of health service delivery integrated with medical education. Over 50 medical universities constitute a decentralized network of provincial health authorities overseen centrally by the MOH&ME (The Ministry of Health and Medical Education). Health and equal access to health care is a constitutional right of all Iranian citizens. Iran is also in the list of fast-track countries for prevention and control of NCDs. As part of the national NCD prevention and control plan reduced intake of salt, sugar, and fatty acid have been targeted and necessary interventions have been implemented.
Iran Travel and Tourism Overview
Iran is famous for its four season weather. It is considered as one of few countries in the world where visitors may experience all four seasons in a part of the country all year long. This climate diversity has led to a variety of natural landscapes, which can hardly be seen in other countries. Iran has varied nature and climate contains abundant plants and animals which are amazing in both number and variety in comparison with other parts of the world.
Temperature fluctuates widely in different parts of the country all year long. Being located in northern hemisphere makes summer time hot and winter cold.
Iran has the largest number of islands in the Persian Gulf, the most important of which are as follows: Minoo, Kharg (Iranian oil terminal, site of one of the world’s largest deep-water oil ports), Sheikh Sa’ad, Sheikh Sho’ayb, Hendurabi, Kish (a free zone and the largest island of Iran in the Strait of Hormoz), Farur, Siri, Abu Mussa, the Greater and Lesser Tumbs, Qeshm, Hengam, Larak, Farsi, Hormoz, and Lavan.
The southern part has many ports too. The most significant Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf are Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar-e Imam Khomeini, Mahshahr, Deilam, Genaveh, Rig, Bushehr, Bandar-e Lengeh, and Bandar-e Abbas.
Several rivers are flowing inside Iran mainland, the only navigable of which is the Karun (approximately 950-km). Other large rivers are: The Atrak, Dez, Hendijan, Jovein, Jarahi, Karkheh, Mand, Qara Chai, Sefid Rud, and the Zayandeh Rud. During the summertime, there is little water flowing in the mainland rivers.
Mountainous Areas & Deserts
Iran has two mountain ranges. The high Alborz range in the north rises 5,670 meter at Mount Damavend (the tallest peak in the country) and spreads from the southern part of the Caspian Sea all the way to the east close to the border lines of Khorasan. Zagros Mountain Range is another mountain range exceeding from northwest to southeast.
The eastern part of Iran country is the location of two salt deserts: Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut with 1,287 km total long.