Economy, Sci & Tech

Tehran, Seoul to Bolster Sci-Tech Cooperation

 South Korean government and private sector entities are to invest in  Iran’s IT sector. South Korean government and private sector entities are to invest in  Iran’s IT sector.

Samsung and South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning are to invest in Iran’s growing information technology sector, according to reports from Seoul.

Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi visited South Korea last week. During the two-day visit, several deals were signed between state representatives and private companies of both countries, IRNA reported on Friday.

 Samsung Deal

During his stay, Vaezi visited Samsung research center and met with the company’s CEO Jong-Kyun Shin.

Samsung and the Research Center of Iran’s Telecoms Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding that, according to Shin, will lay a firm foundation for expansion of future collaboration.

The MoU will include joint research and development centers, as well as the prospect of Samsung establishing a manufacturing site in Iran beyond simple CKD of televisions which it currently does.

Vaezi noted in the meeting, “With the US-led sanctions lifted, Iran and its neighboring countries growing ICT markets look forward to accelerate potentials in these growth sectors.”

The official also encouraged Korean companies to invest in expansion of Iran’s communication infrastructure, including telecoms.

For his part, Shin noted that Samsung is willing to introduce and transfer new technologies to Iran.

 Korea Telecoms

The delegation also visited Korea Telecoms Corporation’s headquarters where Vaezi outlined Iran’s policies on international contracts and joint ventures.

“Although Iran welcomes any form of investment and collaboration, technology transfer is on top of its agenda,” he said.

During Vaezi’s recent visit, KT officials stressed their former announcements of willingness to invest in Iran following the inaugural visit of that country’s president to Iran in May.

The officials confirmed that the Export–Import Bank of Korea, also commonly known as the Korea Eximbank, will facilitate the collaboration.

KT also said it will push ahead with plans to develop IT infrastructure, e-governance and invest in Iran’s communications network.

 South Korean State Actors

In addition, the Iranian delegation has been able to forge two new deals with South Korean government entities.

Iran’s Telecoms Ministry signed a deal with Korea’s National IT Industry Promotion Agency to boost e-governance in Iran. Another MoU was signed with South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning that will facilitate the establishment of IT research centers.

Seoul is committed to introduce fifth generation of mobile communications technology to Tehran, as it is one of the biggest proponents of the new technology.

Following the ministerial visit, Iran-Korea Science and Technology Committee was formed to facilitate and monitor the progress of several deals.

According to officials, the first session of the joint committee will be held in Tehran this September by the two countries.

The agreement is based on a decision to amend the ICT partnership MoU signed between the two countries in the 1990s and resume the activities of the former ICT partnership committee.

South Korea has been Iran’s long-time partner in IT sector. Despite economic sanctions against Iran, ICT exports from South Korea to Iran continued to increase in 2010. The value of exports increased from $736 million to $1.028 billion between 2009 and 2015.