President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation led by Vice President and the Global Innovation Officer for CISCO Systems Guy Diedrich.
Welcoming members of the delegation, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- It's very nice to see you again. Welcome!
CISCO Vice President Guy Diedrich said:
- Thank you! It is always nice to see you and come back to this beautiful city.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. We have met several times. All these meetings were useful in terms of promoting the successfully developing partnership between your company and Azerbaijan. I know that you had a lot of plans here and that you have realized all your plans. The cooperation between your company and the government is at a very good level. The Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies is a good partner for you. As you know, we have repeatedly discussed our plans for the future, plans for the modernization of Azerbaijan and the development of information technologies, especially now, as you have probably heard, as we are at the stage of a very active transformation. Structural transformation, political, economic reforms, measures to strengthen responsibility and transparency – all this brings great benefits to the country – both political and economic.
Of course, the digitalization of the economy is on our agenda. After the recent restructuring in the Presidential Administration, we have an innovation department that will coordinate the activities of various government structures in this area and facilitate the development of the private sector. We are currently on the eve of the opening of the Bakutel exhibition, which has indeed become a very important international platform. This is not only an exhibition and presentation of the achievements of key companies in this field, but also an opportunity to strengthen business ties. I traditionally take part in the Bakutel exhibition, primarily in terms of demonstrating the position of the government related to the development of this industry. Secondly, I am also interested to see what innovations have appeared over the year. After all, time flies. Changes in this sector are happening faster than time itself.
Guy Diedrich: Correct.
President Ilham Aliyev: You will also take part in this year's exhibition. I wish you success, and I am sure that our cooperation will continue successfully.
Guy Diedrich: Thank you! You were a great partner. There is no other country we cooperate with whose President would so carefully and wisely deal with details. We like it. We can talk about business. This is great. Before moving on to comments, I would like to thank you for your personal invitation to “Formula 1”. I enjoyed it a lot. First of all, it was a fantastic race. Since we are affiliated with McLaren, I have the right to organize UF1 competitions annually. Of course, the Baku event is my favorite race.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.
Guy Diedrich: Baku is an ancient city, and people are very friendly. Very good organization and the track was great. Congratulations! It was nice to see you present awards there.
President Ilham Aliyev: Yes, this is a tradition, a traditional ceremony. According to the most active viewers, the Baku race was very exciting from the very beginning. First, these competitions were not very popular in Azerbaijan. Many people did not even understand the rules and how it all happens, but now, after numerous competitions have been held in Baku, they are becoming increasingly popular. The most important thing is that they attract a large number of tourists to Baku. We have performed actual observations. The increase in the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan began precisely after the first race. After the first competition, we had an increase of 24 percent. After the second competition there was an increase of another 26 percent. It is interesting that in October this year – and October is an unfavorable month for tourists, so to speak, they usually come in the summer – a 25 percent increase was recorded compared to October of last year. Therefore, Formula 1 has really brought Azerbaijan a lot of dividends. The country has become better known and earned hundreds of millions of dollars. I mean business circles, those engaged in the service sector and other sectors. Thus, it fetches major incomes and is also a good representation of the country.
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