Dear Chairman!
Dear Secretary-General!
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends! 

On behalf of the Communication Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan I am pleased to greet you all at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

As you may know, Communications Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan is a member of the ITU from 1992 and was elected as the member of ITU Council in 2014. Over this period, we have carried out the huge work on developing of ICT sector in Azerbaijan, strengthen cooperation with ITU as well as actively participate in the activity of the Council.

We actively advocate the Connect 2020 Agenda for Global Telecommunication and ICT Development. The Republic of Azerbaijan is committed to achieve the goals and targets of the Agenda by adopting important policy documents, implementing strategic infrastructure projects, as well as improving cooperation with other international stakeholders.

Azerbaijan’s strategic vision on the Development of ICT by the year 2020 has found its reflection in the Azerbaijan’s Strategy on the Development of the Information Society. In this regard we are deploying modern fixed and mobile  technologies, increasing  the use of telecommunication and ICT and internet users in the country, ensuring the transition to the information society and at the same time establishing knowledge based economy.

Azerbaijan is on the 65th place among the world countries in the ICT Development Index of the International Telecommunication Union for year 2017. The positive fact is that during the Council membership all the ICT indicators in the country have been continuously increasing. Today more than 80 percent of Azerbaijani population are Internet users, 64 percent of households have computers. Number of mobile subscribers in Azerbaijan is about 106 for every 100 people. We are facilitating the deployment of 4G technologies, increasing the users of broadband services including mobile broadband.

Stable and permanent investments in our country’s infrastructure bring major results. Thus in 2016 we have launched a Data Center which is the first TIER III certified center in the South Caucasus region.

In order to strengthen the capabilities of small and medium business and star-ups we are planning to establish Innovations Center in Baku. This center will provide free services for young entrepreneurs and become the place of promotion of innovative ideas. Young entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to get grants and loans from the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies.

We also initiated national and trans-national broadband projects, such as Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway projects (TASIM) which was also supported by ITU. TASIM’s aim is to build the shortest trans-national fiber-optic line which will connect East and West. This fiber-optic line will be will cross territory of several countries of Europe and Asia including Azerbaijan in the distance between Hong Kong and Frankfurt. This project will eliminate the digital gap and open new economic opportunities for the land-locked counties of the Eurasia.

Whole this process claims the attention of the cyber security issues. In the first week of September together with ITU we have conducted first regional exercises on cyber security with participation of 14 countries.

I hope that Plenipotentiary Conference will bring vitally important decisions that will set new trends in the development of information and communication technologies around the world. Azerbaijan, in its turn, is ready to continue active cooperation within the framework of the Union's activity.

Availing this opportunity I would like to ask you to support the candidacy of Azerbaijan for the reelection to the ITU Council from the Region C.

Once again, I would like to welcome the participants of the Plenipotentiary Conference and to wish them successful and effective work.