AZEL: Azerbaijani IT market grows despite global crisis
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 26 / Trend H.Valiyev /
The implementation of the "Electronic Azerbaijan" state program will play a major role in the development of the country's computer market, AZEL head Igor Yakovenko told Trend today.
He said Azerbaijan's computer market can be divided into two segments -- corporate and retail.
"Financial market instability in 2009 affected the demand for computer equipment, as people psychologically were not ready to spend more money," he said. "So there was a decline in the retail sector. But if we talk about the corporate market, I would say that 2010 is a year of growth."
The program promotes a strategy to make public enterprises, ministries and agencies more computerized and fluent in the latest IT systems. Azerbaijan's IT market grew by 10-20 percent in 2010 despite the global financial crisis.
"So it is wrong to talk about the IT market's stagnation and decline in Azerbaijan because everyone knows that large projects are being realized in the country," he said. "We believe that the market is growing."
Regarding local computer production, Yakovenko said the quality of local products do not yield to international manufacturers. The overriding issue is the price of the final product, he added.
"Of course, global brands are stronger than local brands, namely when it comes to marketing," he said. "A loan program in this area could make a difference."
Yakovenko said AZEL suspended its production of portable computers, but may recommence production in the event of a strong demand. However, he said, the time is not yet right.
"In general, the retail market for mobile computers will grow," Yakovenko said. "People now buy more laptops. Desktop computers still dominate in the corporate sector. I think in the next five years, desktop computers will be very in demand in Azerbaijan."
Today, Yakovenko said Azerbaijan has already achieved the concept of "One Family -- One Computer," and will soon acheive the idea of "One Person - One Computer," which will mean an unprecedented growth for the mobile computer market.
According to various estimates, today the ratio of desktop computer sales to laptop sales at AZEL is 75 to 25 percent.