March 9, 2016 / 11:19 AM / 2 years ago

Iran needs significant reform to sustain economic growth: IMF

A general view shows northwestern Tehran, Iran January 17, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran can expect solid economic growth over the next couple of years, but needs significant reform to sustain the pace of expansion, a senior official at the International Monetary Fund for the region said on Wednesday.

“The IMF predictions are indeed for very rapid growth,” Aasim Husain, Deputy Director at the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department told a conference in London.

This was especially the case in the next two years, he added. However, in order to sustain that pace, Iran needed “significant reforms to the structure of economy”.

In January, the IMF said it expected real gross domestic growth to accelerate to 4-5.5 percent in 2016/17 and to average 4 percent throughout the medium term if oil production would be increased, access to foreign assets restored and trade and financial transactions cut.

Iran’s government hopes for economic growth of 8 percent in the next decade.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker

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