On 28 January 2021, HCLA in close collaboration with Doshisha University Graduate School of Global Studies (GSGS), concluded another successful Webinar, on the topic relating to the ‘Business Opportunities and Challenges along the Silk Road – On the way from Central Asia, Iran, and Caucasus to the European Union (EU)’.
In this Webinar, we welcomed esteemed and honored speakers, and participants, of whom consisted ambassadors, academics, innovators, and entrepreneurs, to our internet gathering. The topics were in their multitude and fruitful, and regarded the potential behind business opportunities in Azerbaijan, Iran, and Uzbekistan, in tandem with the legal and geopolitical challenges behind said regions in terms of investment capacity and economic growth.
To this extent, our partners at Doshisha University, represented by Professor and Dean Hisae Nakanishi, spoke about the many aspects of the new security landscape in Eurasia. Building on the topic presented by Professor Nakanishi, but with a direct focus on the security situation in Afghanistan, was H.E. Ambassador Tadamichi Yamamoto who spoke about the opportunities for regional cooperation and stabilization in Central Asia and the Caucasus, giving us a unique perspective into the matter by virtue of his experience as Former Head of the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Following up was Mr. Thomas John, an ACIArb- and HCLA member and Partner at the Grotius Chambers in The Hague, the Netherlands, who presented the potential behind Mediation as a national, and international dispute resolution mechanism, with a direct focus on the Singapore Convention as part of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms trifecta (i.e., vis-à-vis arbitration enforcement and arbitration recognition in foreign jurisdictions) that has potential for ameliorating dispute resolutions in the regions of Central Asia, Iran, and the Caucasus.
To conclude, the initial part of the Webinar was Professor Nikos Lavranos, HCLA Member and Secretary-General of EFILA, who presented the EU’s legal and geopolitical approach to the Silk Road Project, thereby highlighting the temporal stations of progress towards proving the region capable and attractive vis-à-vis foreign investment.
In the second part of the Webinar, we at HCLA had the honor to welcome, H.E. Mr. Hamid Zadboom as the Head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI), who presented the current and future prospects behind Iran as a growing economy and who, despite the current political situation, demonstrated that Iran is still a major regional hub for trade and investment, and is open for business.
To shift the regional perspective, HCLA welcomed H.E. Mr. Fikrat Akhundov, as the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Netherlands and the O.P.C.W., who presented the current status quo in terms of economic development, innovation, and trade within Azerbaijan, and who demonstrated the capacity and capability of Azerbaijan for future business endeavors.
Following up was Mr. Babur Sabirov, the First Secretary to the Mission of Uzbekistan to the EU, who spoke on behalf of H.E. Mr. Dilyor Khakimov as Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Mission of Uzbekistan to the EU, and who presented the position of Uzbekistan vis-à-vis their current and future legal and business environment, and the prospective characteristic of the country for future investors succinctly.
To conclude was Mr Ali Kolahi, as a member of TCCIM & DIGIKALA, who presented to the panelists and attendees the potential behind Iran as a growing economy in the current high-value markets, such as innovative manufacturing using 3-D models, the use and potential behind A.I. in the manufacturing sector (with a direct focus in the automotive sector), and the necessity for a transition from oil, as a fossil fuel used for electricity-generating purposes, towards renewable energy.
After the presentations of all respective panelists, the floor was opened for a quick Q&A session for the attendees’ benefit. In the end, the Webinar was concluded successfully, and we once more thank our honored and esteemed panelists in joining us and sharing their knowledge.