Panel “Is there really money?” In the field of investment in Iran’s information technology ecosystem, it was held on the third day of Al-Comp 26. The CEO of Fund Fund, the CEO of Sarava Company, the CEO of Harak First and the Chairman of the Parsian Electronic Commerce Board of Directors were the participants in this panel.
One of the important issues raised in this panel was talking about the government’s plans to increase the share of the digital economy to 10% of GDP, creating 10 unicorns within the next three years, and also the Law of Jumping Knowledge-Based Production. The panelists had different and sometimes conflicting opinions about these plans and programs.
Some of them believed that increasing the share of the digital economy and the implementation of the knowledge-based leap law can be implemented to some extent and open the way, but some thought that such ideas not only do not have a positive effect on the country’s digital economy, but its implementation can have negative consequences.
Knowledge-based mutation law will cause rent and corruption
Daza Zarnokhi, CEO of the Fund, was one of those who believed that this knowledge-based leap law will not have a positive effect and will lead to corruption and rent. According to him, the legislator has allowed those who want to evade taxes to build buildings in government science and technology parks, create CBC and invest up to 30% in knowledge-based companies and startups.
According to Zarnokhi, the large investment of these companies will cause great damage to the ecosystem: “This investment will be a tsunami for the ecosystem. First, because we don’t have a company with the amount of this big money. So, as a rule, this will be an uneconomic game that causes corruption and rent. Because there is no absorption capacity from companies. And it will be a tsunami and it will not be successful.”
The CEO of the Money Fund pointed out another negative consequence in this regard and said: “With this, the VC experience in Iran will be ignored and new, healthy and interested but inexperienced people will enter the investment field and choose bad startups for investment with big money. do.”
Citing all these reasons, he finally concluded that “the knowledge-based jump law will not have a positive effect on the flow of venture capital (VC) ecosystem.”
The level of productivity should be the criterion of tax credits for public companies
Ali Fayazbakhsh, CEO of Sarava, confirmed Reza Zarnokhi’s opinion in this regard and by presenting statistics and figures about the National Development Fund, he concluded that the entry of this fund as an investment in knowledge bases will not be useful and effective: “150 billion dollars will enter the Development Fund Nationalized, which gave 89 billion dollars to the government or companies close to the government and could not get it back. It has paid about 50 billion dollars in the form of facilities, and 11 billion dollars remain in the fund,” which, according to Fayez, will not be a special amount for investment.
In addition, the CEO of Sarava pointed out the issue of this fund being on the sanctions list and said: “Anyone who is included in the list of the National Development Fund will be included in the sanctions list. These sanctions prevent people who worked in these companies from taking advantage of foreign job opportunities. Therefore, talented human resources will no longer enter these companies.”
He further mentioned that “National Development Fund’s IPS is not compatible with Iran’s ecosystem” and concluded that the investment of this fund will not affect knowledge-based companies.
He went on to say about the issue of tax credit, which causes tax exemption for government companies that have invested in knowledge-based startups: “Tax credit is corrupting. The government has never adhered to its commitments. I can’t trust a government that doesn’t keep its commitments; “I don’t consider a government that will face a pension fund crisis in 5 years and a government that compensates its budget deficit of 450,000 billion tomans by selling oil.”
In addition, the CEO of Sarawa believes that the tax credit should not be determined due to the investment in knowledge-based companies, but should be determined according to the productivity of a group: “Companies should get tax credit according to the productivity for the economy, not only because of the investment in knowledge-based companies. Therefore, I am strongly against tax credits and…
Creating Unicorn was our idea 6 years ago in Sarawak
Fayyazbakhsh did not have a positive view of the promise to create and launch 10 unicorns in three years, which was announced by the president’s vice president for science, technology and knowledge-based economy, and said: “If the government says that I will establish a unicorn, be very afraid!” In 1996, one of my colleagues and I presented in Sarawak and suggested to the previous government that we can create five unicorns with 1400 billion tomans. Mr. Jahormi proposed this report with the idea of five unicorns within five years, and now the new government promises us 6 years ago!”
Reza Zarnokhi, CEO of the Money Fund, also said about the idea of starting a unicorn in Iran: “I don’t think there is anything wrong with the creation of a unicorn, and the 13th government is also a young government.”
He further stated that such a program is not within the scope of the Vice-Chancellor of Science, Technology and Knowledge-Based Economy, and that economic institutions should enter into it: “This statement is not rooted in the depth of the economic core of the government. Neither the Ministry of Economy nor the Central Bank agrees with this literature. The unicorn game is not a science assistant game; The game is an economic ecosystem and should be discussed in the Central Bank, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Security, etc.”
It will only grow if the ecosystem of the digital economy is fully developed
Mohammad Mahdi Abbaskhani, the CEO of Harak Awal, although he believes that improving the state of the digital economy is not impossible and is accessible, but he believes that the components of the ecosystem have not yet reached the possibility of realizing these goals.
He explained about the lack of growth of various components of the ecosystem as follows: “The ecosystem has various components, and tax laws, insurance, corporate audit, etc. as some of its components have not been updated yet, and this makes this ecosystem not grow enough.” . Dealing with the ecosystem, for example, in the field of auditing is still the same traditional view of auditing in traditional companies.
The CEO of Harak Awal believes that in a situation where “ecosystem components have not yet developed”, good laws and components that have grown and developed cannot be effective: “Some laws, such as knowledge-based leap, make the input and driving part of the ecosystem correct, but regulation is the issue of capital outflow. And… still not updated and not developed enough. This issue causes the whole ecosystem to not grow enough and not be completed.”
Abbaskhani believes that only if “from the beginning to the end of this ecosystem has grown enough”, the ability to grow the ecosystem, grow the digital economy, create a unicorn, etc. will be provided.
Big sums are flowing towards knowledge-based companies
Alireza Khodakarmi, the chairman of Parsian e-commerce board, was one of the panelists who believed that this law can bring large capital into the country’s startup ecosystem. In this context, he explained as follows:
“This year, with the law to support knowledge-based production, a fundamental turning point will be made in the field of investment in these companies, and we will see very, very large sums of money in knowledge-based companies. “Oil, steel, etc. companies will invest in knowledge-based companies in order to get tax exemptions.”
He also pointed out that “there is no money in government collections and it will not happen if we are focused on government investment”; However, according to Khodakarmi, the government has tools such as tax credit, national development fund, etc., which can help in providing capital and investment.
The chairman of Parsian e-commerce board believed that the goal of developing the country’s knowledge-based economy will be achieved despite these two basic resources. After stating this point, he added: “Due to the availability of capital and profit and the future-oriented nature of the companies that invest in this ecosystem with the tax credit tool, this investment will definitely happen.” Of course, he emphasized again that this capital will not be provided from the government budget.
Khodakarmi added this explanation after the criticism of other panelists on ideas such as the Law of Jumping Knowledge-Based Production and the Launch of Unicorns: “Corruption caused by the idea of tax exemption, inability to attract capital by knowledge-based companies, etc. are correct points, but this is a government plan It creates an investment opportunity for large collections. This capital will enter the ecosystem like a devastating flood and will be a turning point in the field of digital economy.