The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, held the inaugural launch of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) in Baku on 23 February 2022, together with the conference, “Trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” The event aimed to address the prominence of 4IR technologies in the digital economy, and highlight challenges of industry smartification, and future trends.
The introductory speeches were presented by Mr. Tamerlan Taghiyev, Executive Director of C4IR, and Mr. Mirek Dusek, Head of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East at the World Economic Forum, in which they underlined the role of digitalization and modern technologies in ensuring sustainable development, and the importance of greater involvement of the private sector in the development of this area.
The conference featured a high-level session, “Fourth Industrial Revolution Driven Economy” with panelists:
- Mr. Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan;
- Mr. Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum;
- and Mr. Adalat Muradov, Rector of Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC).
The session was moderated by Mrs. Jana Krimpe, Head of Estonia-Azerbaijan Trade Chamber.
Mrs. Krimpe specified that the goal of the session was to provide a forum to strengthen the understanding of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by interacting with experts, thought leaders, and sharing practical takeaways.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts us all on a global scale, fostering social economic development. It is a vision that goes beyond technology, impacting our identities and communities, the way we conduct business, govern, and collaborate with each other. We have the opportunity to give it a purpose, for it to be human-centric and inclusive,” Mrs. Krimpe notes. Throughout the session, Mrs. Krimpe raised key issues regarding the importance of 4IR to the esteemed panelists.
Mr. Mikayil Jabbarov stated that one of the main objectives is to strengthen the position of Azerbaijan in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is impacting trends in the global economy and the rules of competition, and to be among the leading countries in this field. “In this regard, cooperation with the World Economic Forum and its Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is a successful continuation of efforts in this area. The launch of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Azerbaijan, which is among a very few corresponding Centres in the world, is of very special importance,” the Minister shared.
“The rapid advancement of technology is reshaping industries, challenging existing regulatory frameworks, and redefining fundamental aspects of our everyday life. As a part of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, Azerbaijan will have a critical role in enabling innovative transformations in a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive manner,” declared Børge Brende.
Professor Adalat Muradov noted that the digital transformation of the world economy and the conditions created in the process of forming a production ecosystem based on high technologies necessitate the formation of competitive human capital that meets the 4IR requirements, where educational institutions should be more active.
At the end of the session, Memorandums of Understanding were signed between the Center for Analysis and Coordination of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (under the Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Economy), the State Agency for Compulsory Medical Insurance, and Microsoft Azerbaijan.
The event was also attended by other senior officers of government agencies, scientific and educational institutions, and representatives of companies and start-up centers operating in various sectors of the economy.