11th Korea-Iran Cooperation Forum Held - Exploring New Cooperation Opportunities between Korea and Iran: Challenges and Prospects

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The 11th Korea-Iran Cooperation Forum on Exploring New Cooperation was successfully held on August 28, 2023, in a hybrid format with physical participation in Tehran, Iran. The Forum was Co-organized by esteemed institutions: the Korea Institute for International Economics Studies (KIEP), University of Tehran, University of Isfahan, Tehran Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture, and ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), Pakistan. The Forum provided an important platform for stakeholders from both countries, and highlighted the immense potential for collaboration in trade, investment, technology, and energy with a vision to foster innovation-driven development and sustainable growth between Korea and Iran.

The forum commenced with welcoming remarks by Mr. Farzin FARDIS, a board member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Iran. Mr. FARDIS introduced the Tehran Chamber of Commerce while emphasizing the extensive opportunities for expansion in trade, investment, and technology between Iran and Korea. He underscored the significance of developing Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) meetings to facilitate closer collaboration.

Dr. LEE Kwon Hyung, Deputy President of the Center for Area Studies at KIEP and Co-chair of the conference, delivered the opening address. Dr. LEE expressed gratitude to the Iranian partners and highlighted the abundant opportunities for collaboration. He presented a report on the progress of past Iran-Korea bilateral forums and demonstrated the continued commitment of both countries to strengthen their economic and cultural ties.

Prof. Seyed Komail TAYEBI, Director of CEIE at the University of Isfahan and the President ECOSF joined the forum online as the Co-chair. Prof. TAYEBI emphasized the significance of digital innovation and governance in the rapidly evolving world. He stressed the importance of exploring collaboration opportunities, exchanging experiences, and establishing robust policy frameworks to harness the full potential of the digital economy. Prof. TAYEBI underscored the Forum as a platform for dialogue and cooperation between not only Iran and Korea but also other countries especially other ECO member countries, to promote innovation-driven development, economic growth, and sustainable development.

H.E. Mr. YUN Kanghyeon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Islamic Republic of Iran appreciated the organizing partners and teams for their efforts in bringing this Forum together. He highlighted the rich cultural and historical resources of both countries and emphasized realizing the rich potential for mutual collaboration. Mr. YUN emphasized the importance of working together for the future generations and developing investment and trade in services and tourism to overcome challenges posed by sanctions. Besides energy, Iran has the potential to diversify tradeable goods and services in cooperation with the Republic of Korea.

Dr. Sardar Mohazzam, Managing Director of the National Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (NEECA) Pakistan, presented a talk on driving energy efficiency during the session on new cooperation opportunities in trade and energy. Dr. Mohazzam shared best practices and prospects for enhancing energy efficiency in Iran, Korea, and other ECO member countries.

The Forum comprised of following three discussion sessions as well as the closing session:

Session I – “New Cooperation Opportunities in Trade and Energy”

Session II - Challenges and Opportunities Facing Bilateral Cooperation between Korea and Iran

Session III - Building Bridges: Exploring Opportunities for Economic Collaboration between Korea and Iran

Participants at these sessions discussed collaboration between Korea and Iran and offered valuable insights into trade, energy, and economic cooperation while shedding light on the potential for joint initiatives that can yield mutual benefits between Iran and Korea.

At the Closing Session, Dr. Seyed Mostafa RAZAVI, Dean of the International Caspian Campus at the University of Tehran, highlighted the benefits of bilateral cooperation in sustainable energy, technology, and trade. Dr. RAZAVI emphasized that such cooperation facilitates access to energy resources, trade expansion, technology transfer, and joint investment. Dr. Razavi finally announced the 12th Korea-Iran Cooperation Forum to be held at the International Caspian Campus of University of Tehran in 2024. Then, President ECOSF Prof. Seyed Komail TAYEBI conveyed his vote of thanks and concluded Forum’s proceedings and. The 11th Korea-Iran Cooperation Forum successfully brought together leaders, experts, and stakeholders from Iran and Korea to explore new avenues of collaboration, foster sustainable development, and strengthen the bilateral ties between the two Countries.

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