Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Iran has been restricted by adverse or complex operating norms and by international sanctions. This, despite the Iranian government liberalizing investment regulations in the early 2000s.
Iran ranks 62nd out of 142 national economies covered by the Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 published by the World Economic Forum. In 2010, Iran ranked sixth in attracting foreign investments globally.
Foreign investors over the years have focused only on a handful of sectors: the oil and gas industries, manufacture of motor vehicles, copper mining, petrochemicals, food products and pharmaceuticals.
Iran absorbed $ 24.3 billion of foreign investment from 1993 to 2007 and as per another estimate, $34.6 billion for 485 projects between 1992 and 2009. Iran is categorized as Upper middle-income economy by the World Bank.
Iran managed a rank of 144 among 183 countries, in the Ease of Doing Business 2012 survey commissioned by the World Bank. Iran's rank in Doing Business survey 2011 was 144.