EghtesadOnline: In line with Iran's policies to expand its international scientific and technological ties, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi attended the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 on Thursday and discussed setting up collaborations in the field with senior Malaysian officials.
The event, scheduled for Dec. 18-21, is an international platform for Muslim leaders, intellectuals and scholars from around the world to discuss and exchange ideas about issues affecting the Muslim world, including joint ventures, industrial activities and technology projects, the summit's website reported.
Jahromi accompanied Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who delivered a speech during the Kuala Lumpur Summit of Muslim countries, IRNA reported.
As the top advocate of Iran's ICT sector, Jahromi met Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Darell Leiking on the sidelines of the summit, Financial Tribune reported.
They reviewed the latest tech developments and the history of relations between the two countries, in addition to exploring ways of bolstering cooperation.
At the meeting, the authorities agreed upon establishing a joint commission in Kuala Lumpur, which will be composed of different committees for banking, tourism, telecommunication, space science and education.
The commission, slated to be formed by February, is expected to study and bridge the gap in the aforementioned fields and to set up win-win joint projects.
Jahromi suggested that academic ties and exchange of students and scientific experiences should be expanded. He emphasized that artificial intelligence is one of today's hot topics, working on which can be a good start for joint researches.
The Malaysian official expressed willingness for a prompt start of collaborations with Iran, adding that talks over planning practical works and designing joint projects should be accelerated.
Leiking also said the Malaysian tech sector will put a higher priority on artificial intelligence in scientific and technological relations with Iran.
In the past several years, Iran has been working on strengthening tech and ICT relations with neighboring and regional countries. By presenting the achievements of homegrown tech units, Iran intends to widen its market and overcome obstacles on the way.
Expansion of technological ties with other countries has been high on President Rouhani’s agenda. The efforts are also evident from Iran’s presence at the International Telecommunications Union's Telecom World 2019 event held on Sept. 9-12 in Budapest, Hungary.
Iranian tech and telecom firms set up a pavilion at the event, exhibiting their innovative ideas and products. Houlin Zhao, the secretary-general of ITU, visited Iran’s section and praised the country’s ICT development as impressive.
Iranian officials presented a report on the latest ICT developments in Iran and detailed the negative impact of unilateral US sanctions on the country’s technological advancements.
Houling told Iranian participants that talks have been held between Iran’s ICT Ministry and ITU over expansion of collaborations. He expressed his commitment to helping Iranian entities expand their international operations.
In mid-December, an Iranian delegation attended a business forum in the Uzbek capital city Tashkent to discuss ways of expanding ties in different fields, including technology.
The delegation focused on development of collaborations in academic and technological spheres, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, space science, cognitive sciences and new energies. Officials say talks will further strengthen ties between the two countries.
Also in early December, Iranian tech firms and startups won accolades at Azerbaijan's high-tech exhibition called Bakutel 2019.
According to Iran’s ICT minister, "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."
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 markets seem to have been successful.
The achievement could be seen in the 20th edition of Telecom 2019 that opened on Tuesday at Tehran’s International Exhibition Center and wrapped up on Friday. The event was an opportunity for Iranian tech firms to showcase their latest products and services.
According to Faramarz Rastgar, secretary of Iranian Telecommunications Industries Syndicate, over 110 domestic tech companies attended the event, including mobile operators, internet service providers, ICT engineering firms and manufacturers, ICT Ministry's website reported.
Foreign companies also participated, including from China, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
"During this year's fair, 68 high-tech products were unveiled," Rastgar said.
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.