Communications Ministry: Azerbaijan, Belarus identify priority areas of cooperation

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 9 / Trend H.Valiyev /

An Azerbaijan-Belarus intergovernmental agreement signed in early June reflects priority areas of cooperation in ICT, the Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry's International Relations Department head Ayaz Bayramov told Trend.

Bayramov said the agreement will enter into force after ratification. Subsequently, the ministry will be prepared to disclose details about the document.

The agreement was signed by Azerbaijani Communications and IT Minister Ali Abbasov and Belarusian Communications and Informatization Minister Nikolay Panteley.

As earlier reported establishment of a Regional Innovation Zone (RIZ) in the country was defined as a priority in the development of the IT industry.

The matter was considered at the Azerbaijani-Belarusian business forum on information technologies held in Baku in February.

Decision on the Azerbaijan-Belarusian cooperation in the RIZ project was taken at the 41st Ministerial Meeting, held in Minsk in late November 2009. The Azerbaijani delegation held meetings at the Industry and Communications Ministries and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. In general, the sides discussed ways of attracting investments from Belarus to Azerbaijan's ICT field.

Belarus is the only CIS country where the legal aspects of the operation of free economic zones (FEZs) are guaranteed by a "Law on Free Economic Zones." he main objective of Belarus's FEZ is to attract domestic and foreign investment.

One of the most important issues is to reduce, and in some cases, liquidate the social and customs duties tax. A positive solution to these issues will create suitable conditions for the import of goods to Azerbaijan, as well as conditions for the organization of production line of foreign investors in the country with their further exports to regional markets.

According to ministry forecast, with the successful implementation of the project, the growth in revenues from projects on the RIZ in 2020 will reach $12 billion. The regional innovation zone project in Azerbaijan envisages establishing technology parks for small and medium innovative businesses, creating a regional base for the production and export of electronic hardware and software, effectively turning the country into a transit information center, training and human resource development for the information society and introducing information technologies in different industries.

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