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French companies seek cooperation in space industry

14 May 2014 09:12 (UTC+04:00)
French companies seek cooperation in space industry

By Nigar Orujova

French companies expressed their willingness to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the development of space industry.

Cooperation may include satellite optical observation and nuclear research, Azerbaijan Communications and High Technologies Ministry said on May 13.

The ministry held a meeting with a delegation headed by President of the French Land Defense Manufacturers Association (GICAT) and Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) Christian Mons.

Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov informed the guests about the ongoing reforms in the ICT sector in the country.

He also noted implemented national and regional projects, and the work carried out for the development of the space industry, nanotechnologies, and nuclear research.

Recalling the launch of Azerbaijan's first satellite into orbit by French companies, Abbasov said relations between the two countries have entered a new stage.

He stressed the issues arising from the order of Azerbaijani President on the establishment of a National Nuclear Research Center under the ministry regarding the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and spoke about the benefits of establishing partnerships with French companies in this direction.

"We invite French companies to cooperation for the development of broadband Internet in Azerbaijan with the introduction of the fiber-to-home technology, creation of data centers, export-oriented production, and implementation of cost-effective projects for nuclear research," he said.

Christian Mons expressed satisfaction with the participation of French companies in Azerbaijan's ICT sector, and the contribution of French financial institutions in the launch of Azerbaijan's first satellite.

He also noted the interest of the French side in continuing cooperation, and expressed confidence that French companies will participate actively in the development of the space industry in Azerbaijan.

Azerspace-1, which was launched in February 2013, covers Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and North Africa. Some 80 percent of the satellite's resources are available for commercial purposes.

The satellite was designed to offer digital broadcasting services, internet access, and data transmission. It also creates multiservice VSAT networks and provides governmental communication services.

Azerspace-1's term of exploitation in the orbit will be up to 15 years, and Baku is expected to earn $500-600 million by operating the satellite.

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