Initiated by Signify (former Philips Lighting), a videoconference has been held between President Ilham Aliyev and the company’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Rondolat, General Manager for CIS Eric Benedetti and the company's other executives, Azerbaijani presidential press-service reported on May 22.
Addressing Chief Executive Officer Eric Rondolat during the meting, President Aliyev said: "I have been informed that after the meeting in Davos, your team visited us in March. As you noted, the first stage will already be implemented before the end of September. It includes thousands of new street lighting lamps in Baku. This will primarily cover the areas with poor street lighting. At the same time, as you noted, we will save a lot of energy, which will benefit our people. As we discussed, after this first project we have major plans on expanding our joint activities and covering Baku and other cities. At the initial stage, we may cover large cities. We talked about street lighting in Sumgayit. As far as I know, the evaluation process is now underway. So I hope we will have long-term cooperation in this area."
Eric Rondolat said that due to COVID-19, there maybe a certain delay in the execution of work. He highlighted the role of establishing lighting systems in ensuring road safety in the city. He expressed hope that at the end of the pandemic, the company he represents would successfully continue cooperation with Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev reminded that Signify has already implemented several projects in Azerbaijan together with the public and private sectors. "However, the project we discussed in Davos and are jointly implementing now is, of course, the largest project. As we discussed earlier, it has great potential for the future because this is the first experience. I am sure that this will be a very successful experience and municipal authorities and city governments will benefit from this in the future. It has been noted that we will save a large amount of energy and fuel produced for other purposes, of exports and improve the life of the city," he said.
Eric Rondolat said that at the next stage, the company will provide communications, thanks to which additional opportunities will be provided. Thus, the lighting of the city of Baku will become a component of the “Smart City”.
Azerbaijani President’s aide Natig Amirov spoke about cooperation with Signify and promising projects.
He said that the work on the “Baku Smart City” lighting project is going well and a lot has already been done. They have completed our contract. In July, the process of importing all lamps into our country will begin and will end in late September and early October.
Speaking about the coronavirus pandemic, Aliyev said: "We need modern preventive tools that would meet the most complex technological requirements. We are doing our best to protect our citizens. From the very beginning, we took very important preventive measures, which allowed us the opportunity to protect our citizens and find a way out of this situation with minimal losses. Our efforts were also acknowledged by the World Health Organization, which has described Azerbaijan as an exemplary country in the fight against coronavirus. Of course, I fully support your technology initiative to assist in the self-defense of humanity."
Eric Benedetti, the company’s general manager for the CIS, spoke about the work carried out in connection with lighting of various parts of Baku, including the central historical part of the city.
The Signify sales manager for the Caucasus and Central Asia region Andrey Zakharkiv spoke about the “Smart City” project, which will be implemented in Baku, and pointed to the readiness for the implementation of the pilot project.
Eric Rondolat touched upon issues of cooperation in the field of a significant increase in agricultural productivity, including the field of livestock breeding, poultry and agriculture, the production of environmentally friendly agricultural products, reduction of water consumption, and expressed his willingness to share experience with Azerbaijan in these areas. During the conversation, issues related to the application of modern technologies to the field of agriculture and to the training of young personnel were also discussed.
In turn, President Ilham Aliyev thanked Signify for reforms carried out in agriculture. "We see that more and more young people want to become agricultural specialists, and the number of young people choosing this profession at the Agrarian University is growing. We are applying a new e-agriculture system. This helps us a lot in increasing the effectiveness of an important area of our life and economy, because it is possible to say that 50 percent of our population lives in rural areas. Therefore, I am sure that this will become a very important new project we can jointly implement. In general, Azerbaijan is ready for new technologies and innovations. We have already created a powerful human capital for this, and our technologies related to state and social services are now being used by a number of other countries. Therefore, we are absolutely open to new technologies, as they lead to new prospects, dynamism, progress, jobs and welfare," Aliyev said.
Signify was established in 1891 and operates in 74 countries of the world, providing services and selling products to 140 countries. “Signify”, the world’s leading provider of lighting equipment, systems and services, is one of the top 10 green companies.
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