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EghtesadOnline: In line with the government policies to expand its international scientific and technological ties, a joint working group on information and communication technologies has been established between Iran and the neighboring Pakistan.

During a Thursday meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, between senior tech authorities from both sides, the working group was established as an adjunct unit of Iran-Pakistan Border Trade Committee, according to Financial Tribune.

Iran's Deputy ICT Minister Sattar Hashemi and Pakistan's Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui are set to co-chair the new group, IRNA reported. 

“The newly-established unit is aimed at boosting collaboration for the development of ICT infrastructure, regulations and space science,” Sajjad Bonabi, the vice chairman of the board of Telecommunications Infrastructure Company of Iran, said in a tweet.

According to Press Information Department, a Pakistan-based news website, the meeting’s discussions revolved around exploring areas of cooperation in the field of ICT and creating an enabling environment for harnessing the benefits of Fourth Industrial Revolution and the resulting digital space for the greater benefit of people. 

During the session, both sides shared the achievements of their local ICT sectors and emphasized on learning from each other’s experiences and enhancing their connectivity efforts. 

The meeting concluded on the note of continuing discussions and collaborations in different tech fields for jointly achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through the efficient use of technology.


Tech Investment

Expansion of technological ties with other countries and attraction of domestic and foreign investments for developing technology ecosystem in the country has been high on President Hassan Rouhani’s agenda. 

This is also evident in the active participation of knowledge-based firms and startups, along with Iranian investors, in the Second Technology Investment Meeting held at Tehran's Pardis Technology Park on Feb. 4-5.

The event was aimed at using investment potentials for realizing the country’s tech potentials.

According to Milad Sadrkhanlou, TIM's director, the event was attended by D-8 Technology Transfer and Exchange Network, composed of member states: Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey, besides Iran.

TTEN is an informative and transaction-enabled network set up among the eight developing Muslim countries. It tries to fulfill technology market functions, pursue missions such as capacity building and information dissemination on technological capabilities, address the needs of D-8 member countries, organize technology transactions and create coordination and synergy among member states. 

“The meeting was to help use international investment opportunities, create a network for domestic and foreign investors, and provide the required capital for knowledge-based and technological companies,” Sadrkhanlou told the media.

About 100 domestic and 20 foreign investors attended the meeting.

The state-backed Iran National Innovation Fund was also among the participants. Siavash Malekifar, INIF's deputy head, said at the meeting that the institution is willing to establish joint international funds to expand venture capital investment on technology ecosystem.

Malekifar added that INIF can allot a special budget to help expand international ties between Iranian knowledge-based firms and their foreign counterparts. 

Knowledge-based companies and startups also had the opportunity to present their innovative ideas and products at the event. 

During the meeting's sideline programs, participants took part in panel discussions on investment insurance cover, co-investment, pitch deck sessions and introduction of investment opportunities.


Muslim International Platform

In line with the efforts, Iran also attended the Kuala Lumpur Summit held on Dec. 18-21, 2019.

The event 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.

On the sidelines of the summit, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi met Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Darell Leiking and 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 to establish a joint commission in Kuala Lumpur, which will be composed of different committees for banking, tourism, telecommunications, space science and education.

The commission, slated to be formed by late February, is expected to study and bridge the gap in the aforementioned fields and to set up win-win joint projects.

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.


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