Azerbaijan plans to become IT developed country

By: Nigar Orujova

In our century of advanced technology, development of high technology has become a number one priority around the world and natural resources-rich Azerbaijan is no exception.

The country’s oil and gas revenues have been utilized to develop and promote high tech development for years, in order to diversify the economy and reveal talents.

Innovative projects are clear indicators of the country’s development. Soon Azerbaijan will be able to join the ranks of countries with advanced IT-industry.

Azerbaijan is now investing in hardware and software production as well as IT-services.

At the hardware level, the country has Kur plant for computer equipment production, which will soon produce computer equipment for Acer Inc., Taiwan’s multinational hardware and electronics corporation.

The software sector includes start-ups, which are being financed by the State Fund for Information Technologies Development. The Fund has allocated 4.6 million manats for financing IT-projects in Azerbaijan in 2014.

IT-industry also provides for the strengthening of local companies’ export potential. Today, Azerbaijan’s export potential in high-tech is very small about approximately $52 million.

Cooperation in between local companies and international vendors is today a top priority since it may lead to the expansion of Azerbaijani companies toward foreign markets.

The basis for IT business development in Azerbaijan will become the High Tech Park, which filial will cover the country.

The park is expected to be created in two years, during this time, the filial will work in the fourth largest city Mingachevir and third largest city Ganja.

High technology is developing at Mingachevir’s Kur plant for production of computer equipment.

Moreover, the Mingachevir High Tech Park was established in February. The high-tech park has been equipped and organized in such a way that it will promote research and development work, ultimately leading to the commercialization of new products and high tech applications.

In Baku, the High Tech Park is currently under construction in a 50 hectares land area in the Pirallahi district.

This facility will also be equipped with all the necessary infrastructure, logistics and governing entities, thus enabling engineers to conduct research in ICT, telecommunications and space use, energy efficiency, and the development of new and high technologies.

Residents and companies operating in the park will be exempt from VAT (18 percent) on all imported infrastructural and technological goods and services.

Business Incubation Center is also functioning in the capital. The facility provides participants with computer equipment, internet access as well as with other the necessary support. The next step of the project developed at the center is the High-Tech Park.

Another achievement of the country is Azercosmos space agency, which currently operates three satellites – one telecommunication and two low orbit – and plans to launch another telecommunication satellite in 2017.

To manage and further develop these prominent achievements, the country is also in need of specialists. The hope remains on the Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Education.

The country also plans to attract newly taught specialists not to allow the brain drain, which was significant in the end of 20th century.

A favorable business environment to interest large businesses is needed for further expansion of these initiatives.

SOURCE: Azer News