Introduce Iran as a safe place for investment

Mostafa Amiri, founder of Zarinpal

When it comes to attracting capital, it means that many problems are going to be solved. Mostafa Amiri says: “one of the key factors for growth is financial capital. But, first of all we should see whether attracting capital is the main problem in Iranian startups or not? I think in current situation there is another issue which is more important and that is the capability of attracting capital in Iran startup ecosystem.” CEO of Zarrin Pal continues: “attracting capital especially foreign capital can be considered as a success but we must legally assure investors. For example, tax laws in the startup and knowledge-based areas in Iran. In current situation, tax laws are not fixed. Laws say something and something else happens in practice. For example, once officials wanted to sell Rightel to a foreign investor. They said to investors that this was one of three operators in Iran and had a good market, but it came to 34% tax, investors didn’t accept this transaction. Tax exemption had been approved in the Parliament for knowledge-based companies for 15 years, but when it was to be applied, they adjusted internal regulations and divided startups into industrial and non-industrial. Industrial refers to knowledge-based companies which have grown and non-industrial refers to new companies. Each year different regulations are made.” Amiri adds: “presence of foreign investor or attracting foreign capital is good itself but we have many legal issues which threaten these capitals. In other countries in which many startups are working, there are fixed taxes and tax exemptions for knowledge-based and startup companies. Many foreign investors are eager to invest in Iran so we can grow in this area in a short period.” He also refers to providing shares of a company in stock exchange and says: “the most important thing for an investor is the guaranty that the capital will be returned. One way is selling shares to third parties, which takes place in stock exchange. Thus, entering stock insures the capital. We need these good experiences and these contribute to the growth of our macro economy.”

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