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Intellectual Property Industries as the Driver and Catalyst for Innovative Development of Azerbaijan

by Dr. Emin Telman Teymurov (Embassy of Azerbaijan to Germany – Germany)

Intellectual property (IP)-intensive industries may play an exceptional role to further promote Azerbaijan’s smooth transition to an innovation, technology and knowledge-based economy. Azerbaijan pays special attention to innovation and creativity as the engine and catalyst of sustainable development. By strengthening the nexus between science, industry and academia, special emphasis is placed on putting innovation at the forefront of the socioeconomic development. As a result, during recent years, innovative development of the country has accelerated. Azerbaijan is uniquely located and has built an international digital marketplace to become a digital hub for business growth in the immediate region and beyond. The levels of internet, electronic and mobile services usage in the country, as well as Industry 4.0 and digitalization, offer necessary potential and tremendous opportunities for Azerbaijan’s innovative development.

Significant results have been achieved, in recent years, in IP use for the economic, social and cultural development in the country. Azerbaijan attaches importance to the promotion, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) to stimulate innovation. The issues related to the development of IP have been included in “Azerbaijan 2020: the vision to the future” development concept, as well as the strategic roadmap of the national economy and key sectors of the economy. As a result, the share of creative industries in the country’s GDP has grown substantively during recent years.

Azerbaijan’s geo-economic location at the crossroads of international corridors and its strong logistics potential has enabled the country to become an important trade hub and digital bridge in global and trans-regional trade by offering competitive and favorable opportunities.

Industrial parks established in Azerbaijan will enable businesses to foster innovation, productivity and competitiveness. Azerbaijan promotes digital economy through establishing high-tech parks and business incubators. Moreover, due to efficiency aspects, the number of companies using cloud technology and services is expanding. Furthermore, blockchain technologies offer new perspectives for Azerbaijan’s digital economy and development. In parallel, an internet of things (IoT) laboratory was launched to develop various solutions and expand innovative activities.

A number of industrial clusters have been established in Azerbaijan, offering concessional terms and conditions, covering diverse fields of the economy. Furthermore, the numbers of start-ups are continuously increasing in the country. This will further increase foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Azerbaijan and boost the country’s exports, including IP products.

Azerbaijan pays special attention to information-communication technologies (ICT) development and has stimulated the application of ICT tools to formulate the high-tech and knowledge-based economy, as well as support start-ups to expand to global markets. Azerbaijan is a champion, regionally, for ICT promotion as an inclusive development priority and driver of the sustainable socioeconomic development of the country. Implementation of ICT solutions, improvement of ICT infrastructure, promotion of ICT integration in business, greater use of ICT applications for socioeconomic impact, and digitization of cultural heritage have enabled the country to emerge as one of the best performers in the region.

Issues related to IP commercialization have been included in the strategic roadmap of the national economy and key sectors of the economy. IP commercialization may result in substantial revenue for the Azerbaijani economy, including promotion of the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand. Azerbaijan has a great potential with respect to geographical indications, important IP asset to gain a competitive advantage in international markets.

Azerbaijan recognizes the contribution of IP in achieving sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and cooperates with its international partners. Azerbaijan is keen to continue its efforts to further conduct reforms in the field of IPR protection and enforcement. The country is also focused on ICT development to become a regional hub. The advancement of the development of the IP system in Azerbaijan might be also a positive step towards integration into the multilateral trading system to diversify the economy, develop non-oil sectors and ensure sustainable socioeconomic development. Multilateral and bilateral IP cooperation opens new horizons and perspectives to further advance IP-intensive industries in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, such cooperation will contribute to the country’s efficient and effective integration into the global economy and value chains, as well as achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).