Russian professor talks Azerbaijan’s development of digital technologies


BAKU,  –  Azerbaijan was one of the first countries which developed a national strategy for preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and created the necessary legal and institutional conditions for its successful development, Doctor of Economics, Professor of Russia’s St. Petersburg State University Stanislav Tkachenko told.

The professor stressed that the future of national industry is fairly connected with the introduction of innovations in the field of physical, digital and biological technologies in Azerbaijan, which will allow the country to take a worthy position in the international division of labor.

“The strength of modern Azerbaijan is based on big and fast-growing economy (especially its non-energy sector); high quality secondary and higher education (heritage of the USSR, preserved and improved in recent years); demand for high technologies and innovations within the country; macroeconomic stability (low inflation, foreign exchange reserves); huge foreign direct investments accumulated in the country,” Tkachenko added.

“Today Azerbaijan is a leader in the field of digital technologies not only in the South Caucasus, but also far beyond its borders,” the professor said.

“The country is a leader in internet services in the CIS,” Tkachenko said. “Its programmers carry out orders from almost 100 countries. The country’s efforts of stimulating the growth of the high-tech industry yielded the first results, namely, an increase in energy efficiency and competitiveness of the economy, blurring of boundaries among industries and a decrease in technogenic impact on the environment, especially on the Absheron Peninsula.”

“Among Azerbaijan’s special achievements in this field is the opening of the Regional Center of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Baku in January 2020, which will expand the opportunities for studying the experience of other countries within Fourth Industrial Revolution and its application in Azerbaijan,” the professor said.

“The term “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has become popular recently,” the professor said. “During the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016, WEF President Klaus Schwab introduced the Fourth Industrial Revolution concept as an opportunity for the economic development of countries and a threat to their social sphere.”

“There were many supporters and opponents of the Fourth Industrial Revolution concept over the past years,” Tkachenko added. “It has been touched upon during the discussions about the development of national economies and the global economy as a whole.”

“The distinctive features of Fourth Industrial Revolution are the merging of technologies, blurring of the boundaries among the physical, digital and biological spheres, the development of the internet of things and artificial intelligence,” the professor said.

“Technological innovations will lead to a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of production, increase efficiency and productivity,” Tkachenko said. “The cost of transport and communications will decrease. Trade will become more profitable while logistics efficiency will increase. All this will open up new markets and spur economic growth. The Fourth Industrial Revolution symbol is a universal 3D printer that can print almost everything: beginning from house and car and ending with mobile phone and sports equipment.”

“It’s important for politicians and experts to remember that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not a separate event, but a long historical process that will last for decades,” Tkachenko said. “It has already begun and there is no time for hesitating. There will be more such innovative projects. The authorities and the business community of all countries should be prepared for a long race with “intermediate finishes” to infinity.”

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution will certainly have significant social consequences,” the professor said. “It is clear that employment in traditional sectors (in heavy industry, most of spheres of services) will decline. The labor force will be involved in new sectors of the economy, namely, information and communication technologies, tourism, the transport and logistics sector.”

“But most of professions that will be in demand in 10-20 years simply do not exist,” the professor said. “We can only guess what will they be like. That is why Azerbaijan should remain in the trend of global efforts to realize the potential of Fourth Industrial Revolution and neutralize its possible negative consequences.”