By the 30 June, Iran must have come to an agreement with other world powers on curbing its nuclear programme in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
Currently, key sectors including energy and finance are crippled by an inability to trade with the rest of the world. While Iran claims its uranium enrichment programme is entirely for civilian purposes, countries including the UK, US and Germany want its nuclear activities to be reduced to a level where there is no chance of an atomic bomb being developed.
If Iran satisfies demands and economic sanctions are lifted by the UN, EU and a number of individual countries, it will be left brimming with opportunities for foreign investment.
According to the Risk Advisory Group, this is because Iran, despite taking some steps backward economically due to the sanctions, has a richness in natural resources, a large well-educated workforce and a strong geopolitical presence.
“Iran’s potential emergence from isolation could be the most significant opening of an economy since the fall of the Soviet Union and the US’s rapprochement with China,” said Shahin Shamsabadi, head of Middle East business intelligence at the Risk Advisory Group.
Iran’s edge is that its Islamic Republic ideology does not present the same economic restrictions as Communism, which means that there are some promising opportunities available for businesses that dare to tread.
Key areas to watch
Iran has an established banking sector, a sophisticated consumer market, a large number of port facilities and more than 20 free trade and special economic zones that are well placed to serve international companies.
Of all the sectors, these are the five best ones for foreign investors to get involved in if sanctions are lifted next week: