EghtesadOnline: Iranian tech firms and startups had a strong showing at the 25th International Telecommunications, Innovations and High Technologies Exhibition, also known as Bakutel 2019, held from Dec. 3-6, in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The annual exhibition is not only one of the largest IT gatherings in the region, but also a unique networking platform with a potential of setting up strong business contacts.
In addition to expanding the presence of Iranian companies in the event, a delegation of several local startups headed by ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi also visited the exhibition, the ministry's website reported.
Jahromi said the annual exhibition has extended a warmer welcome to Iranian tech units, Financial Tribune reported.
"This increases the chances of Iranian startups finding customers in the host country, which is a potential market for their innovative products and services," he said.
“Forging ties with Azeri counterparts can help Iranian tech firms exchange technical and scientific experience and further contribute to expanding technology ecosystem in the country.”
On the first day of the exhibition, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev received the Iranian delegation and held talks on possible ways of expanding collaborations in technology fields.
At the meeting, they also agreed to a joint venture on developing ICT infrastructures. An agreement was set to be signed by the two parties later in Tehran as soon as the details of the project are outlined.
Later, on the same day, Jahromi met Reshad Nabiyev, the head of Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency, and said Iran is keen to start cooperation with Azeri Republic on space science and satellites technology.
Nabiyev welcomed the suggestion and invited the related Iranian agency to a meeting in future to immediately start cooperation in the field.
He also admired Iran's advancement in developing tech tools in space science and technology.
The next day, in a meeting with Houlin Zhao, the secretary-general of International Telecommunications Union, Jahromi emphasized the necessity of maintaining strong links with ITU.
Pointing to the fact that US sanctions against Iran negatively affect ITC development, Zhao said ITU will do its best to help Iran expand its activities in different fields of technology.
"Iran is capable of playing a constructive role in the region," he said, adding that ITU is seeking to announce Iran as the host of a scientific workshop on 5G network development and standards, slated for April 2020.
Jahromi held talks with his Russian and Turkish counterparts, Nikolai Nikiforov and Ahmet Arsalan, respectively regarding expansion of ICT ties.
Besides Iran, 238 national groups from 23 countries, including Belarus, Italy, the UAE, Slovenia, Russia, USA, Turkey, France, Croatia and other countries, along with their leading IT companies, displayed their products at the exhibition with the support of their national chambers of commerce and embassies.
Iran was represented by 16 tech units, namely Iranian Space Research Center, Iranian Telecommunications Manufacturing Co., Sabacell Arya Co., Boom Negaran Hooshman Omid Co., Danial Moj Optical Communications Technology Co., Guilanet Information Technology Co., Haumoun IT Pioneers, Ide Pardazan Parax Aran Co., Idea Bekr Mobin, Pars Pardaz Sarmand Co., Paskal System Poya, Pegah Dade Kavan Sharif Co., Rasha Telecommunications Development, Sabz Dadeh Pardaz, Sanat Noavaran Samarya Co. and Teseh Saman.
Bakutel in Detail
As a major arena for displaying the latest IT products and services, Bakutel annually gathers leading players in the telecommunications market,
Concurrent with the exhibition, the Second International Discussion Platform (Bakutel Tech Talks) was also held on Dec. 4-5. This unique platform helped raise vital issues, promote a constructive dialogue between customers and developers and present innovative content to industry professionals.
B2B meetings were held between exhibitors and representatives of companies from vertical markets, as they established contacts, searched for new partners and pursued innovative solutions.
The exhibition was organized by Caspian Event Organizers, in cooperation with International Telecommunications Union and Azerbaijan's Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Regional Commonwealth in Communications, Confederation of Entrepreneurs Organization, Export and Investment Promotion Foundation and the Small and Medium Business Development Agency.