Vice President Urges Development of Digital Economy in Iran

Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has called for plans to develop the infrastructures for digital economy in the country, highlighting the role that the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology plays in working towards that goal.

In a meeting with ranking officials from the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology on Sunday, the Iranian vice president said the global economy is rapidly moving towards digital computing technologies.

“If we ignore the digital economy, our economy will lag behind the cycle of world economy, because the global economy is moving towards digitization with a rapid acceleration,” Jahangiri added.

Pointing to the worst economic downturn in the world over the past 100 years in the wake of outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the vice president called for efforts to study various social, economic and cultural aspects of the rapidly-changing developments and to identify the relative advantages of the situation.

He further stressed the need to develop the necessary social and legal infrastructures for the post-coronavirus era, noting that the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology will be the epicenter of all plans and arrangements for the new age.

Paying tribute to the ICT Ministry and the private sectors affiliated with the ministry for their “stellar performance” after the outbreak of COVID-19, Jahangiri said, “All of the country’s development plans and ongoing issues have been affected by the coronavirus today. In other terms, the coronavirus has turned into the main compass for policy-making and management of the country, because during the outbreak of the disease, serious attention must be paid to the health of people and a balance must be created in the other sectors as well, as in the economic sphere.”

Highlighting the key role of the start-ups in fulfilling the digital economy goals, the Iranian vice president emphasized the need for good investment in the start-ups, knowledge-based companies and the private sector, which he said must regulate the economy in practice.

He also touched on the leading role of the ICT Ministry in providing distance learning programs after the coronavirus outbreak, saying the influential ministry must also conduct a detailed analysis of the economy in the coming years to devise plans for technical and vocational schemes to attain the digital economy objectives.

Jahangiri further praised the ICT Ministry for formulating space programs, including the recent launch of a homegrown satellite in cooperation with the domestic universities.

“The development and completion of the National Information Network, which is a basic need of the country, could usher in the era of modern governance and administration in the country, by relying on which we could introduce a new administrative system to the country,” he added.

The vice president finally stressed the importance of implementing the electronic government scheme in Iran, saying the ICT Ministry has devised 23 projects with high priority to meet the requirements of an electronic government which is expected to fully come into force by March 2021.

“Development of the electronic government will provide all citizens with online access to broad services, will contribute to transparency and prevent corruption, and could also result in public satisfaction,” Jahangiri concluded.

In December 2019, Iranian ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said the world’s future would be shaped by digital economy, calling for plans to promote mutual cooperation with Turkey to enable Tehran and Ankara to have a share of the digital economy.

In a meeting with Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Azari Jahromi has explained that the digital economy is based upon artificial intelligence, noting, “The truth is that artificial intelligence (technology) would not be acquired with slogans. We must try to create wealth in two spheres, the artificial intelligence and the data sciences.”

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