President Ilham Aliyev:The sector of information and communication technologies is developing very fast and has a great future.


Development and growth in the modern age is directly associated with the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). At present, the level of application of ICT is among the main indicators of intellectual and scientific potential, transparency in the public administration, solution of social and economic problems. ICTs are playing an increasingly important role in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals as a powerful tool to fight poverty, empower women, increase the education level, and improve environmental management.
Government of Azerbaijan pays special attention to the development of information technologies. Azerbaijan's National ICT Strategy (2003-2012) has promoted a widening use of ICT tools to raise efficiency and transparency in the public sector, and recognizes innovation as one of the underlying principles for ICT application. Azerbaijan is also well-known regionally and internationally for its promotion of information society as a national development priority. The country hosted 7th Internet Governance Forum in 2012 and declared 2013 the Year of Information and Communications Technologies.
Concerted national efforts invested by the Government of Azerbaijan have enabled the country to become one of the best performers among the CIS countries (2012 Global Technology Report, World Economic Forum). The ICT sector grew twice in size on average span of every 3 years covering the period of 2004-2013. The Republic of Azerbaijan is a leader among CIS countries for the density of Internet users during the last three years. In 2012 this figure increased from 65 % to 70%. Likewise, the quality of internet services as well as external internet connectivity increased by 2.2 times in 2012 and prices reduced by approximately 35% compared to 2011 (Source: ITU, World Economic Forum and State Statistics reports). 
Azerbaijan has caught up and, in a few instances, surpassed the Upper Middle Income Countries average, already moving close to the high-income country values. It is imperative that Azerbaijan builds upon this momentum by making it more sustainable through development of a comprehensive ICT strategy, a broader access through country-wide ICT infrastructure, promotion of ICT integration in business, and greater use of ICTs for social and economic impact. 
The "Modernization of Sustainability and Efficiency of ICT infrastructure and ICT services in the Republic of Azerbaijan" Project will contribute to the improvements of above- listed dimensions of ICT environment by supporting the Government in pursuing the following goals:
1) Develop a comprehensive national ICT strategy;

2) Enhance country-wide ICT infrastructure through expansion and modernization of AzDATACOM network;
3) Promote ICT integration in business through establishment of Public Private Partnership Specialist Centre on ICT Use;
4) Maximize use of ICTs for greater social and economic impact at the national and regional levels by expanding citizens’ opportunities for e-participation, giving access to Open Government Data and Data Center, as well as initiating Eurasian Connectivity Alliance to bridge the ‘digital divide’.