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Spotlight Article

Pirallahi Island, Silicone Valley of Eurasia

Azerbaijan America Alliance
August 11, 2014

Azerbaijan’s information and telecommunications industry is the second largest recipient of foreign investment in Azerbaijan. In light of the significance of this industry to the country, the United States Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce and Microsoft hosted a presentation titled, “Azerbaijan’s Technology Industry: Building a Knowledge Economy.” The presentation featured a keynote address by Elimr Valizadeh,  Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies, in addition to presentations on key opportunities and initi atives within the Azerbaijan 2020 Vision of the Future.

 

Seymur Aghayev, the CEO of Azerbaijan’s High Tech Park (HTP), discussed the Park’s role in expanding Azerbaijan’s technological sector. The Park will be located on Pirallahi Island, and provide infrastructure to support a growing knowledge economy. Administrative buildings, offices, data centers, exhibition centers, a library, housing, and recreational and social venues will all be available in the Park. Additionally, developers intend to include green space and ensure the Park is eco-friendly.

The progress of the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) was presented by the project’s director, Zaur Hasanov. The project intends to create a fiber-optic backbone for Eurasia. This project would benefit not only Azerbaijan, but every region connected by the cable. In recognition of its global benefits, the UN General Assembly adopted resolutions in 2009 and 2012 to support Azerbaijan in this endeavor. 

The government is supporting the growth of this industry through The State Fund for Development of Information Technologies. This fund intends to support the emerging knowledge economy with grants and loans. Deputy Executive Director Azer Bayramov explained that organizations, projects, or companies within the technology or telecommunications industries can secure a loan with only five percent interest, the lowest rate available in the country.

The success of the knowledge economy in Azerbaijan seems ensured. With promising projects underway, supported by the Azerbaijan Government and the UN, Pirallahi Island stands to become the Silicone Valley of Eurasia.  

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