Iran: The largest and most enigmatic ‘Last Frontier Market’

By Ali Borhani
March 28, 2014

Global markets are on another roller-coaster ride, amid a new wave of overpriced technology valuations.

At the same time the Chinese will be building nuclear power plants for United Kingdom. Their National Development and Reform Commission is already preparing guides for Chinese investors with country specific tips on how to invest in the UK.

Private Equity firms are outpacing one another and running to open shops in Myanmar, companies are now talking about the investment opportunities in Ethiopia and the growing middle class in Addis Ababa, and even Cuba is beginning to approve foreign direct investment.

Five years ago many of these developments would have sounded far-fetched. But as we all know, the passage of time often brings new perspectives to international and economic relations.

Take Iran, for instance, for so long a pariah in the international and diplomatic community. Only 18 months ago many multinationals did not even dare to bring up the name of Iran, even using terms such as ‘TOMC’ in internal memorandums: The Other Middle Eastern Country.

For this country, the tide is now turning very quickly indeed, and instead of problems, governments, entrepreneurs, traders, marketers and their brands see a wealth of opportunities in this huge and untapped frontier market.

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