The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

January 2018, No. 86


Tehran’s 21% Share in Total GDP of Iran

The mayor of Tehran emphasized on the necessity of tourism development in Tehran with due regard to ecotourism and historical features and health service capacities.

Mohammad Ali Najafi, the Mayor of Tehran, addressing the Third Meeting of the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth in Seoul, South Korea (Oct. 19), praised the initiative of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and other partners in organizing the meeting and expounded on urban strategies for realization of inclusive growth in Tehran.

Stating that the economy of Iran is developing but it is not a comprehensive economy, he said more than half of the growth was in the oil sector and its effects on job creation and reducing inequalities have not been favorable. “Hence, we need more inclusive growth in Iran, and the government should boost the non-oil sector by preparing the playing ground for the existing and new businesses, as well as improving the business environment and the efficiency of the labor market.”

Referring to Tehran’s important role in Iran’s attainment of inclusive growth, he pointed out that in 2016, Tehran generated $101 billion, equivalent to 21 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product. In addition, Tehran still accounts for half of the industry’s manufacturing sector in 2016 and is considered the trade capital of Iran.

Najafi highlighted Tehran Municipality’s potential for realization of inclusive growth and noted: “There is a vast ICT infrastructure in the urban management system which provides for smartification of the city of Tehran and development of new businesses based on new technologies, especially ICT through the production and sale of existing and available Big Data at the Tehran Municipality.

Referring to tourism capabilities in the capital city, he pointed out: “The numerous tourism attractions and potentials in Tehran have created the space for development of tourism as a job creating and forex earning industry, and is considered one of the urban potentials for realization of inclusive growth.

The mayor of Tehran pointed to the existence of a large number of educational and research centers based in Tehran’s metropolitan area and said these centers enjoy internationally recognized ranking and can serve as the driving force for the provision of educational and research services to the region and the world. There are also numerous quality and creditable centers offering health and medical services in Tehran.

Najafi emphasized that Tehran, as a major regional economy and a model of successful economic experiences for other cities, plays an important role in implementing economic policies, including inclusive growth.

He continued his speech by outlining some of Tehran Municipality’s strategic priorities for enhancing inclusive growth and said: “The development of knowledge-based economy, with particular emphasis on the role of information and communication technology through utilization of hardware and software available at Tehran Urban Management System is considered one of the priorities in this field. In addition, the production, distribution and sale of Big Data available in Tehran’s technology infrastructure to generate revenue and create new economic opportunities for ICT-based businesses are of great importance.

The mayor of Tehran emphasized on the necessity of tourism development in Tehran with due regard to ecotourism and historical features and health service capacities. He said: It is necessary to move towards creation of inclusive employment through the management and optimal economic operation of the valuable city heritage. It is also inevitable to stimulate economic growth, reduce inequality, and also benefit the lower classes of society from the advantages of economic growth.

He cited the development of modern technology based businesses aimed at economic prosperity coupled with inclusive employment as one of the priorities, and said: “Participatory planning should take the place of top-down planning with active presence of all urban stakeholders because inclusive growth requires a broad participation in decision making and planning.

Najafi also mentioned the attraction of foreign investments and the financing of hundreds of attractive economic projects with the participation of foreign investors as another priority.
In the end, Najafi stated: “Although the Tehran Municipality will fully use all its tools and powers, the participation of the central government and other organizations that may have the potential to affect inclusive growth as a complementary strategy is on the agenda.”

Mayors from around the world gathered in the South Korean capital to champion the cause of developing inclusive solutions in the fight against climate change. The mayor of Tehran also joined the forum, and met with Seoul’s mayor to sign a memorandum of understanding for future cooperation.


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  January 2018
No. 86