The Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour represented the ECO in the 1st Asia Pacific Innovation Forum (APIF) jointly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Vice Presidency for Science and Technology) on 10-12 June 2019 in Tehran.
The theme of the Forum was “Technology Start-ups for Sustainable Development” in recognition of technology being a key means of implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Forum was attended by the representatives of international agencies including UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the representatives of more than 50 counties.
The ECO Secretary General participated in the Ministerial Level Opening Session of the Forum held on 11 June 2019, and addressed the session. His address focused on the role of technology for economic growth and sustainable development. In this regard, he particularly emphasized the role of industrial revolution 4.0 and AI in terms of their immense impact on human life style. He, also, underlined ECO's efforts for seeking collaboration with its member states to develop a regional blueprint for industrial revolution 4.0 as laid down in ECO Vision 2025 and the importance of start-ups and their flexibility in terms of closing inefficiency gap in agricultural sector felt throughout the region and closing up R&D gap between the developed and developing countries touching upon the comparative advantages of the ECO region.
On the sidelines of the Forum, he also exchanged views on common interest with various key dignitaries including Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP).