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Estonia – The Silicon Valley of Euro-Caucasus. Azerbaijan – The Texas of Euro-Caucasus

07.12.2011

The Republic of Azerbaijan with its 9 million inhabitants is not a huge country. Yet, it is one of the major players in world oil and gas market and it is the “Texas” of Euro-Caucasus. The average growth of Azerbaijan’s GDP is around 5-10% even in the terms of financial crises. Baku is a home for half of the Azerbaijan citizens and it provides great opportunities for business in Caucasus region as well as offers many touristic attractions to enjoy in addition to doing business in Baku.

The Republic of Estonia with its 1.4 million inhabitants is smaller than the “center of tech-startups of the world” Palo Alto area in California but with extensive IT and innovation development Estonia is shining star in European IT and technology startup and innovation scene. It is the new “Silicon Valley” of Europe. As the home of Skype and many other innovative startups winning high prices in famous competitions like SeedCamp, there is a competitive environment and supporting community for high-tech innovations.

One of the latest highlights of Estonian remarkable ability to lead in the IT sector is the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence estabilished in Tallinn, Estonia. As important is the European Union IT security headquarters in Estonia.

The two countries, Estonia and Azerbaijan, with very similar history over the last two centuries are different in their main industries, their size and culture. Yet, together they can form a strong frontline in cooperation created between IT and traditional technologies.

Oil and gas industry is strongly feeding the growth in Azerbaijan and it is in strong need of developed technologies both in financial and IT sector. To avoid issues during a rapid growth period, Baku needs knowledge from experts who have recently gone through the fast growth phase in finance and IT. Estonia has many good examples to highlight here.

Mindware is a company that has been building financial IT solutions since 2001. Going through the main development phase and adapting all the rules and regulations brought by European Union and joining the Eurozone has given plenty of experience in its core business – building state-of-the-art IT solutions for banks.

For the first time Mindware as a company created relations in Azerbaijan in spring 2011. With some general discussion about business climate and opportunities, it was about getting the feeling of the country. With the help from Estonian-Azerbaijan business accelerating firm BEST Solutions that is run by Estonian and Azerbaijan team, Mindware was back in Baku for business in November 2011 for BakuTel 2011 fair.

After meeting more than 10 Azerbaijan banks and government organizations in Baku, Mindware has an understanding that this country with its very positive attitute towards European business standards and technologies is an excellent place to do business. There is a lot to give to Azerbaijan business environment from Estonian side and a lot to gain from booming development in Azerbaijan.

With toes in this unknown water, it must be brought into attention that before doing business in any new country you must learn the traditions and customs and you should find a reliable partner who can guide you through the first steps. Mindware is ready to sell its finest Nordic financial sector IT solutions to Azerbaijan and we are happy to have a reliable partner, BEST Solutions, to help us in creating new business.

 

Rando Pärna

Sales & Marketing Manager @ Mindware

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