by Erik Abrahamyan
Armenia and India have signed a memorandum for cooperation in the IT sector.
The document was signed during an Armenian-Indian IT conference organized by the Armenian Development Agency in Yerevan on Thursday.
The conference was attended by Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Manaseryan, Ambassador of India to Armenia Suresh Babu, Ambassador of Armenia to India Ara Hakobyan, Executive Director of the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (comprising over 2,000 companies) D K Sareen and Director of the Enterprises Incubator Foundation Bagrat Yengibaryan.
During the conference representatives of ten Indian IT companies considered possibilities for implementing joint projects with their Armenian counterparts.
Executive Director of Telematics4u Pratap Hedge told ArmInfo that it is early yet to say what projects will be carried out, but he noted that there are sectors on the local IT market where they could cooperate. Hedge said that they are happy to see that Armenia is ready to cooperate on this market and hope to find partners here.
Manaseryan said that the Indians are ready to cooperate in the field of mobile medicine. "The Indian party to this project is already known. Armenia will be represented by the Health Care Ministry and a local company. I think that in a week we will already sign an agreement and will be ready for cooperation," the Deputy FM said.
Yengibaryan pointed out that mobile technologies are actively developing in Armenia. "Since most of our IT products are exported, we must be oriented towards foreign markets and the mentality of foreign partners," Yengibaryan said. He believes that Indian and Armenian IT specialists can be mutually supportive as Indian products are oriented towards mass market (B2C), while Armenian products are mostly designed for business consumers (B2B).
Yengibaryan said that the Armenian Government has asked India to renew the Indian Param supercomputer provided to the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia two years ago. This will help the Academy to solve much more serious tasks.
According to official statistics, in 2012-2013 India supplied Armenia with IT products worth $3.1mln, including $2.8mln in electronics. In 2012 the trade turnover between Armenia and India totaled $70.7mln, wherein Armenian exports made up $1.2mln, while Indian imports $69.5mln (mostly meat, dairy products, cigarettes, electric machines, medicines, plastics).
Armenia has some 360 IT companies (170 from abroad), employing almost 9,500 people.