Why Iran is not the next China?

08/10/2016 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Naser Al Tamimi*):Iran is a major power in the Middle East, with a population of over 80 million and strong military capabilities. It is the third largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over $400 billion. Importantly, Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves (behind Russia), fourth in proven crude oil reserves (After Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada). Iran is rich with natural resources for growth and the statistics point to a potential bonanza. With 70 percent of the population whom was born after the Iranian revolution in 1979, many are well-educated or skilled workforce, offering a strong foundation for economic growth. Certainly, Iran is expected to be one of the fastest growing economies in the MENA over the next five years with real GDP growth projected at an annual average of 4-4.5 percent. Although the Iranian government is more optimistic as its sixth five-year (2016-2021) development plan envisages an annual economic growth rate of 8 percent. In the broader picture, Iran’s “Vision 2025” has a bigger ambition: Becoming the Middle East’s top power by the year 2025…

*Naser Al-Tamimi is an independent UK-based Middle East researcher, political analyst, and commentator




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