KITA official: We can equip Iran with technology

March 1, 2016

TEHRAN - Iran-Korea Business Forum was held in Tehran on February 29, wherein as many as 500 Korean and Iranian participants from 300 companies were present.

One of the main organizers of the event was Korea International Trade Association (KITA), whose Executive Vice President Chairman Junggwan KIM delivered the opening speech.

According to the association’s website, KITA serves a diverse range of roles, including providing hands-on support to trade companies, drawing trade cooperation from the private sector, formulating new trade strategies, nurturing trade professionals, and building trade infrastructure.

In a short exclusive interview with the Tehran Times, Junggwan KIM has answered three questions. Here is the text of the interview.

TT: One of the main challenges the Iranian economy faces is to join the Word Trade Organization (WTO). How can KITA smooth the path given that Iranian companies need modern technology to compete with global rivals if the country joins the WTO?

A: Joining the WTO has its own regulations and conditions. But I think we can equip Iran with technology and then, this is up to the Iranian partners to build upon the technology, promote it and re-apply it in their own products or develop it.

TT: Given that Korean companies left Iran during the sanctions era, now they are a bit doubtful about partnership with Koreans. For this reason Iran is now looking for long-term contracts. What do you think about it?

A: We had no other choice but to leave Iran’s market, as Korean companies themselves have bilateral relations with their American counterparts and if we violate the game, the U.S. imposes sanctions against us. So, that was our reservation. However, we are now pursuing long-term cooperation with Iran because we have a common goal.

TT: Have you developed your own development model or does it come from other countries’ schemes?
A: At early stages, Korea gained experience by learning from foreign countries, similar to what Iran is doing now. At later stages, advanced educational system in Korea and the determination of Korean people helped develop our domestic model of economy.