A refinery in the South Pars gas field in Asalouyeh, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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The lifting of sanctions has left an untapped market but local partners will be essential.With Iran open for business now sanctions over its nuclear ambitions have been lifted, investors are being drawn to one of the largest untapped markets where the government hopes they will bring $50bn a year. Interest is high in sectors ranging from oil and gas to ecommerce, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and hotel construction, but so is concern about compliance with global rules and standards in Iran's nascent market.Business consultancies such as Turquoise Partners, Ara Enterprise, ICG Group, Cyrus Omron International and Atieh Bahar are well established in the country, working largely with investors in the private sector, where business relationships and structures have become opaque after many state-run organizations, including the elite Revolutionary Guard, set up their own "private" front companies.Outside Iran's own business culture, remaining US non-nuclear sanctions have alerted international investors to the risks of entering the market too quickly.
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