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S. Korea, Iran agree to boost ICT cooperation

All Headlines 17:40 August 31, 2016

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Iran reached a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday to expand cooperation between the two sides in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, Seoul's science ministry said.

The revision was signed between Science, ICT and Future Planning Minister Choi Yang-hee and his counterpart, Mahmou Mahmoud Vaezi, in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

South Korea first signed the accord with Iran in 1990 before joining international sanctions against Tehran for its nuclear program.

The two ministers agreed over the need to restore a cooperation channel to promote partnerships in science and technology, officials said.

The ministry said it will reopen as soon as possible a joint science-technology committee that has been suspended since 2004.

The ministry will try to actively use the partnership as an opportunity for South Korean advanced technology and ICT firms to tap into Iran, it added.

"I ask the Iranian government to largely support South Korean firms making inroads into Iran with a huge potential in the ICT Sector" Choi said.

Choi also urged the Iranian government to take follow-up measures on MOUs signed during President Park Geun-hye's landmark trip there in May.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) of South Korea inked an MOU with TEM Invest Co., a top Iranian firm specializing in ICT investment, on strategic partnerships. The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology also agreed to push for joint research projects with the University of Tehran.

The Iranian minister is scheduled to visit the headquarters of major tech firms, including Samsung Electronics Co., during his trip, officials said.

Iran's ICT market was valued at US$17.9 billion in 2014 and it's expected to grow to $29.8 billion in 2020.

khj@yna.co.kr
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