On February 5, 2021, the Digital Almaty forum was held in the southern capital of Kazakhstan, Almaty, which is one of the key platforms for the establishment and discussion of global and regional digital agenda, challenges, solutions and policies in the field of digitalization around the world.
The goal of the forum is to provide a regional and global platform for dialogue to discuss the digital agenda in the context of COVID-19, new digital transformation strategies and trends in the emerging technologies during the pandemic.
The main speakers of the forum are the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Ulukbek Maripov, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Roman Golovchenko and others.
Abdulla Nigmatovich in his speech noted that under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, decisive measures are being taken in the country to introduce digital technologies in all industries and areas which are aimed at building a new Uzbekistan.
“Last year we adopted a number of strategically important programs for the further development of the digital economy, e-government and IT education. Specifically, according to the adopted Digital Uzbekistan Strategy, in the upcoming two years over 280 priority projects for digital transformation of regions and industries will be implemented in a total amount of more than $200 million,” Abdulla Aripov said.
Besides, the Prime Minister highlighted that currently fiber-optic communication lines and a good access to the internet have already been provided to kindergartens and medical institutions, as well as to over 8 thousand schools. In the upcoming two years, it is planned to spend over $2.5 billion on the development of digital infrastructure, which will include financing the launch of three large data centers in Tashkent, Bukhara and Kokand, the expansion of the international internet channel for 3.5 times, modernization of mobile networks, and also the construction of more than 150 thousand km of fiber-optic communication lines. One of the results of these measures will be the ability to connect households in each locality to the Internet at a speed of at least 10 megabits per second.
He also mentioned that last year 50 new services were launched on the Single Portal of Public Services and more than 10 million electronic services were provided.
Owing to the development of the electronic licensing system, more than 100 licensing and permitting procedures were optimized. Over $600 million will be attracted to the digitalization of agriculture, the introduction of modern agricultural technologies and innovative solutions, particularly, to the expansion of using satellite technologies, the development of intelligent systems and software products, as well as the digitization of industry data.
“In order to develop IT education within the republic, a separate state program has been adopted with the aim of creating a completely new system of digital education. Within the framework of this program, last year there were launched specialized schools with in-depth study of information technologies in each region. Currently, the number of such schools has amounted to 14, and by the beginning of a new academic year 82 more schools will be opened. Thus, overall, 205 such specialized IT schools are planned to have been opened by 2024,” Abdulla Aripov emphasized.
He also added that in order to increase digital knowledge and skills among the population in the regions of the republic, more than 100 IT training centers have been opened, through which more than 85 thousand students have been trained in the last 6 months alone, and by the end of this year, 106 more centers will be opened and thus, there will be created an opportunity in each region for IT training.
“Through the program “One Million Uzbek Coders” which was launched last year, more than 130 thousand young people have been trained in computer programming, and by the end of this year we plan to train up to 300 thousand students, through the integration of this program with the subject of computer science in schools. Furthermore, this year, a system will be introduced to reimburse young citizens up to 50 percent of the costs of obtaining international IT certificates. One more priority in this direction is to increase the admission quota for IT specialties in higher educational institutions of the country from 4 to 15 thousand by 2023,” the Prime Minister mentioned during the forum.
Abdulla Nigmatovich also spoke about the consequences of the pandemic: “In general, the epidemic caused a tectonic shift in the demand for digital services in the republic, for example, their growth rate doubled. The number of electronic payment systems users exceeded 14 million people, which is more than 70% of the economically active population of the country.
In the nearest future, he noted a 2-fold increase in the share of the digital economy in the country’s gross domestic product, for which IT-Parks are being opened, and its residents are granted a number of tax incentives and preferences until 2028, including exemption from all corporate taxes, as well as a reduction in the tax rate on the income of their employees up to 7.5 percent.
Source: Press Service of IT Park Uzbekistan