Conference on Technologies and Innovations held in Baku

(MENAFN- AzerNews) By Aygul Salmanova

The Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies and the Center for Economic Reforms and Communications of the Republic of Azerbaijan held a joint conference on "Technologies and Innovations: Economic Reforms and Prospects for Development".

While addressing the event, Elmir Valizade, the country's deputy minister of transport, communication and high technologies, noted that deveral draft laws in the innovations sphere are being prepared in Azerbaijan.

He said that at present, the work is underway regarding venture capital financing, increasing investment flow to Azerbaijan and development of innovation activity.

'We think that all this in general will contribute to the development of innovation activity in Azerbaijan, he said. 'A lot will depend on the business sector, and the Azerbaijani state is ready to provide the necessary support in this issue.

The electronic payment system PayPal can start functioning in Azerbaijan, Zaur Gardashov, the head of the Azexport portal, said at the conference.

Gardashov noted that currently, negotiations with the Moscow office of PayPal are under way. In addition, he said that representatives of PayPal will visit Baku in the coming days.

"Azerbaijan is among 168 countries where the system operates, both unilaterally and bilaterally. In Azerbaijan, the system operates unilaterally, which has both objective and subjective reasons. In general, payment technologies do not stand still and the services offered by PayPal are gradually moving to the background and are considered obsolete. In cooperation with Amazon, we use another newly created payment technology Pioneer, via which you can conduct both sales and purchase. There are many alternatives for e-commerce today, including Visa, MasterCard and AmericanExpress," Gardashov said.

Negotiations with PayPal, as noted by Gardashov, went into the active phase since the creation of the Azexport portal.

'Previously, the Azerbaijani market was supervised through Turkey, which terminated the contract with PayPal in January of this year. As a result, PayPal suspended its activities in Turkey and the company representative was recalled back. Accordingly, we began negotiations with the Moscow office of the company. In the coming days, PayPal representatives are expected to visit Azerbaijan. We do this, in particular, because there are startups in the country that need the functionality of this payment system," Gardashov said.

Being one of the world's largest online payment companies the PayPal system is also considered to be one of the most useful and fast among the other systems of e-payment. One of the other advantages of the system is law tariffs, which makes the system very attractive for the customers.

Full deployment of the system will allow Azerbaijanis to sell goods in international internet shopping services such as Amazon, E-bay, and Etsy.

Speaking at the conference, the representative of "Microsoft Azerbaijan" Emin Akhundov said that education and training system needs to be changed in Azerbaijan.

"As a result of negotiations with universities for a long time, we have reached agreement with two universities. According to the agreement, if the student comes with a Microsoft certificate, and if some of the lessons coincide with our trainings, then the student will receive additional points," he said.

Vusal Gasimli, CEO of the Center for Analysis of Economic reforms and Communication, told reporters that implementation of measures reflected in the 'Strategic Road Map for the development of information and communication technologies in Azerbaijan will make it possible to increase the country's GDP volume by 235 million manats ($139 million) by 2020.

He said that it is planned to create 1,450 new jobs in the ICT sphere.

'Implementation of the set tasks will make it possible to attract large amounts of investments to the country, apply new digital technologies in the education, banking sphere, etc., Gasimli said. 'The Digital Trade Hub created by Azerbaijan will play an important role in the mutual recognition of e-signatures among various countries. Serious results have been already achieved in this direction. This will make it possible for Azerbaijan to preserve leadership in the digitization sphere not only inside the country, but also beyond.

CEO also reminded that the World Bank (WB) included Azerbaijan in the top 10 countries on the prospects for development of the ICT sphere.

Overall, the ICT sector has intensively developed in the country over the past years. Creating and developing of the e-government system, expanding the broadband internet services, launching the telecommunication and low-orbit satellites, and many other steps are the evidence of Azerbaijan's success in this sphere.

In 2016, the country announced Strategic Road Map for development of various areas of economy including telecommunication and information technologies. Additionally, a special Fund under the Ministry State Fund for Development of Information Technologies operates in the country.


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