IOE Secretary-General, Linda Kromjong, visited longstanding IOE member: the Iranian Confederation of Employers’ Associations (ICEA), in Iran from 11-15 August 2017. Business in Iran The business climate in Iran is still challenging especially with regards to doing business internationally but also in creating the space for the private sector to function well domestically. The vast majority of businesses in Iran are SMEs. Currently state and semi state-owned and run enterprises represent around 85 per cent of the Iranian economy. Not enough jobs are being created leading to many young, well-educated people leaving Iran to pursue career opportunities elsewhere while low-skilled labour and refugees arrive in Iran from neighbouring countries. About 50 per cent of the total population of 85 million citizens in Iran is below the age of 35 and the rate of unemployment is high.
Better preparing the entire business community for the future is the major priority for ICEA and its over 400 member associations. Greater inclusion of young entrepreneurs and women, and offering members more international exposure were among the many ideas shared during the meeting with Linda Kromjong. Capacity building and training on both national and international development, how to best build consensus as well as offering networking opportunities are ICEA's most important service offerings. ICEA is the recognised partner of government in tripartite social and labour councils, including on: employment, labour, safety and health at work and minimum wages. Revitalising the tripartite "Supreme Social Security Council" is at the top of its agenda but also the development of a Sustainable Development Goals Action Plan is also a high priority. Reflecting on her visit, Linda Kromjong said Iran and the business community was very welcoming and showed business in Iran is "ready to step up and unlock its great potential." ICEA President, Mohamad Otaredian's message to ICEA members was very strong: "Business in Iran needs to drive its own destiny. Iran has a highly skilled population, a high level of entrepreneurship and is creative and innovative enough to address the challenges it faces now and will face in the future."Workshop on Effective Employers' Organisations ICEA's Advisor for International Affairs Shohreh Tasdighi together with the IOE, ILO ACT/EMP and ITC Turin organised a full 3-day workshop titled the "Effective Employers' Organisation" in Tehran. Close to 40 participants including staff members of ICEA and ICEA member associations attended the workshop. Several presentations were delivered including by:
- Paolo Salvai, training manager from ITC Turin on the Role and competencies of an Employers' Organisation Professional and Good Governance of an Employers' Organisation
- Ravindra Peiris, Employers’ senior expert from ACT/EMP India on the essential functions of an Employers' Organisation and membership development
- Linda Kromjong, IOE Secretary-General on the Future of Work, Responsible Business Conduct and Labour Migration