YEREVAN (Arka)—Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian opened the seventh ArmTech 2014 conference on high technology in New York City, the presidential press office reported.
The conference provides a platform for discussing, planning and implementing policies that help maintain economic and technological achievements in Armenia, the president said.
The event also helps reveal new business ideas and investment opportunities, establish new links and a professional network, and strengthen the existing business ties in tech industries between Armenia-based and international organizations, Sarkisian said.
According to the president, all this helps enhance the country’s rating as a most developing country in the field.
Speaking on Sunday at the opening of the conference, Sarkisian said that in recent years Armenia has made substantial progress in the sphere of high technologies and has sustained an average 22-25 percent annual growth rate in that sector.
“Over the last years the volume of exports and investments has increased leading to geographical expansion and 60 percent export growth. There are more than 380 actively-operating organizations as a result of which working force grows 10 percent annually. Today that sphere embraces around 11,000 specialists which is not a small number for Armenia. There is also considerable progress in influx of transitional organizations to Armenia which is testified by the presence of our international partners at ArmTech Conference,” he said.
“Armenia is committed to continuously supporting sustainable development in the sphere of information technology and knowledge-based economy in general. With that end in view, we have established a Presidential Award for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity through IT in 2009. The award is annual and is conferred to people who have made an exceptional contribution to the sphere. For example, last year the award was conferred to President of Techno Vision and Chairman of Semiconductor Industry Association, former Hitachi CEO Tsugio Makimoto. This year the award was handed to Cisco Systems Chief Development Officer Mario Mazzola,” Sarkisian said.
“In the last 5 years the sphere of information technology has recorded a qualitative growth: Armenian companies have shifted their outsourcing orientation growing into organizations carrying out researches and development activities and offering complex engineering solutions. Armenian IT products, including those of startup companies are acquired by foreign organizations which stimulates Armenia’s attractiveness.
“I am proud to state that today solutions developed by Armenian specialists are widely used by numerous organizations in different countries of the world. For example, various micro schemes are made in Armenia, countless leading banks have employed systems developed in Armenia, our specialists’ most complex and comprehensive engineering solutions are installed in management systems of oil-wells, gas mains, underground and ground transport in a number of countries, and this list is not complete.
“For this reason a series of transnational organizations have established their research and innovation centers in Armenia. I would like to highlight particularly Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, the regional offices of National Instruments, IBM, Oracle and D-Link which pay close attention to training of qualified IT specialists in Armenia, establishment of startup organizations and application of technologies in different economic spheres thereby raising the economic competitiveness of our country. It is gratifying that the mentioned centers are the biggest, but not the only, regional centers which gives Armenia ample opportunities to hold a leading position on the global technological map.
“Of course, the cooperation with the Diaspora and the use of its potential in building Armenia’s technological future are one of the vital stimuli to develop the sphere of information technology in our country. I am sure that owing to our public policy in this sphere and the active support of our compatriots we will manage to ensure technological immigration to Armenia. Concluding my speech, I wish the forum meaningful and fruitful work and I am confident that, as always, it will mark establishment of new business ties and outline of new projects,” Sarkisian said.
Conceived under the theme of “learning from the past and inventing the future” and held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Armenia, the event it is dedicated to further the success of Armenia’s high-tech industry in a dynamic global free-market economy.
ArmTech is organized by the Enterprises Incubator Foundation together with the Ministry of Economy of Armenia and with the assistance of public and private organizations. It is held alternately in the USA and in Armenia. The first congress was held July 4-7, 2007 in San Francisco. The latest in 2013 in Yerevan.
Armenia’s IT sector accounts for 3.8 percent of its GDP with an annual turnover of $380 million. Under an IT development strategy it is expected to surge to $1 billion by 2018.