EghtesadOnline: An Iranian delegation attended a business forum held in the Uzbek capital city Tashkent late last week, discussing ways of expanding ties in different fields, including technology.
The Iranian team was headed by Industries Minister Reza Rahmani and a senior official of the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology, Mehdi Qalenoi. Directors of over 100 local companies also attended the event, 14 of which were knowledge-based firms, the office's website reported.
The event was aimed at promoting interactions with regional countries and discussing prospects of implementing joint trade, economic and investment projects.
Addressing the forum, Rahmani stressed the importance of developing bilateral relations, particularly in the industrial field, Financial Tribune reported.
Qalenoi told the gathering that Uzbekistan has always remained in the ambit of Iran's international relations and a potential target market.
"The development of collaborations in academic and technological spheres, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, space science, cognitive sciences and new energies, is hoped to further strengthen ties between the two countries," he added.
Qalenoi noted that technology and latest achievements in the area should be productive and attract investments for setting up joint innovative and tech-based companies.
He invited Uzbek Minister of Innovative Development Ibrokhim Abdurakhmonov to visit Iran’s tech parks and innovation factories in the coming spring.
Abdurakhmonov and other senior Uzbek officials present at the event expressed willingness to foster relations with Iran.
They also emphasized that they eagerly expect Iran to attend Uzbekistan's next ICT Week event slated for October 2020.
Iranian manufacturers of concrete, tile, plastic and polymer products, detergents, metal products, heating and cooling systems, petrochemicals, carpets and cosmetics, as well as companies working in the field of engineering, transport and logistics, tourism, construction, banking, agriculture, livestock and poultry participated in the forum.
Uzbekistan's Deputy Prime Minister Achilbay Ramatov, First Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Islam Jasimov, Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Furkat Rakhimov, Deputy Minister of Transport Davron Dekhkanov, Deputy Minister of Energy Sherzod Khodjaev and Deputy Minister of Agriculture Saidkamol Khodjaev, as well as representatives of leading Uzbek companies were also present in the event.
On the Sidelines
Within the framework of the business forum, B2B negotiations between the businesspeople of the two countries were held, during which prospects for further development of Uzbek-Iranian trade and technological cooperation were discussed, including exchange of views on enhancing partnerships between the two sides.
The forum was spiced up by around 20 Iranian tech enterprises that showcased their newest achievements in the world of technology in a small-scale parallel exhibition.
In addition, arrangements were made for the establishment of a joint working group tasked with monitoring technological gaps in different fields, which will be followed by the visit of an Uzbek official delegation to Iran.
Officials at the event initiated the preparation of draft agreements for tech-based joint ventures. The Iranian and Uzbek high-rankingtech officials are expected to finalize and sign the contracts during the planned visit.
In the past several years, Iran has been working on strengthening tech relations with neighboring and regional countries, especially Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia.
This was especially evident from the accolades won by Iranian tech firms and startups at Azerbaijan's high-tech exhibition called Bakutel 2019.
According to ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, "Our strong presence in the event can increase the chances of Iranian startups finding customers in the host country, which is a potential market for innovative products and services."
In addition, Iran and Armenia are working on the joint establishment of technology parks and development of communication infrastructure.
This is also the case with Russia that has recently called for establishing stronger relations with Iran in ICT and space technology fields.
Although progressing slowly, Iran's investments in promoting the national tech ecosystem and introducing the country's potentials to regional market seem to have been successful.
Giving extended support to the development of startups and knowledge-based companies has been high on the government's agenda since President Hassan Rouhani took office during his first term in 2013.