Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
Year after year, I am impressed by what Bakutel has become: a unique platform bringing together more than 200 companies from 20 countries including leading Azeri ICT companies to confront new ideas, explore new projects and form new partnerships. And I’m reminded of the address that President Ilham Aliyev gave at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva back in 2003. I was in the room when he talked about turning “black gold” into “human gold.”
The achievements of Azerbaijan in the field of ICT have driven socio-economic development in the country ever since, making it one of the leading states in the region. We just released the 2017 edition of our Measuring the Information Society Report, and it shows Azerbaijan coming in 5th place place in the Commonwealth of Independent States region.
Bakutel is a testament to Azerbaijan’s digital transformation.
Over the next 4 days, specialists and professionals are going to present the next generation of ICT solutions, from artificial intelligence to smart cities. This is an incredible opportunity for young specialists and startups to showcase their inventions, projects and services to potential investors. And we all know how vital digital startups, entrepreneurs and SMEs are for growth, jobs and innovation in today’s digital economy.
Innovation is at the heart of the Strategic Road Map for the development of the ICT sector that Azerbaijan adopted almost one year ago to the day. I was pleased to see High Tech Park Azerbaijan recognized as one of the best and most innovative individual exhibitors at ITU Telecom World 2017 last September in Busan. And this is an opportunity for me to thank the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan for its support of, participation in and commitment to ITU Telecom World events over the years.
At ITU, we highly appreciate our cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan. As Secretary-General, I am very grateful for the essential contribution that Azerbaijan has made to the Council sessions of these past 3 years. I also very much appreciate the active participation of the delegation of Azerbaijan in the last World Telecommunication Development Conference that took place in Buenos Aires in October.
One of the core messages of the Conference was to work together to bring the power of ICT to all nations, all people and all segments of society.
By showing a world of new technologies and ideas, a world of ICT possibilities, especially when it comes to sustainable development, Bakutel brings us closer together as individuals, as organizations and as partners.
I wish you all a successful and productive Bakutel 2017!