Iranian businessmen are waiting for the lifting of international sanctions to invest in Georgia. They are going to be more active just after the abolition of the sanctions.
According to businesswoman Nazi Alasania, her partners plan to invest several hundred million dollars in Georgia, mainly in the oil business, however, what specific projects will be carried out, Alasania doesn’t divulge. In her words, Georgian businessmen who have contacts with the Iranians are also impatiently waiting for the lifting of sanctions, as bank transfers limitations make it difficult to communicate with Iranian partners.
Vano Mtvralashvili, Chairman of Iran-Georgia Chamber of Commerce, also says that Iranian investors are in standby mode. He notes that at this stage it is not known about the specific projects, however, tourist and business visits from Iran have become more frequent in recent months.
According to him, Iranians are studying the current environment in the country and will proceed to active work as soon as the sanctions are lifted. Mtvralashvili believes that direct flights resumed a few weeks ago will contribute to this, because so far only transit flights were carried out.
On July 14, 2015, an historic agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 was reached that would see limitations imposed on Iran’s nuclear program. In exchange international sanctions that have hampered the Iranian economy for a number of years will be lifted. Many U.S. sanctions related to Iran’s support of terrorism and human rights abuses will remain in place, but many of the most significant sanctions will be lifted on implementation day, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)verifies that Iran has met certain conditions. In March 2012, as a result of international attempts to intensify financial sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, 30 Iranian banks were barred from using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) global payment services. Because Iran is a major oil exporter, SWIFT is critical to its exporters because it allows them to making large international transactions with oil importers. Excluding Iran from the payment system made it harder for importers to pay for Iranian oil and consequently had a negative effect on Iran’s exports.