Armenia seeking to build science park with Taiwan experience, says IT minister

Staff reporter, Yerevan; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia

Deeply aware of Taiwan's robust tech prowess, Armenia hopes that industries in both countries can build closer partnerships and that more young tech talent can complement each other through bilateral industrial exchanges, according to Hakob Arshakyan, Armenia's minister of transport, communications and IT.

Arshakyan expressed the hopes in a recent interview conducted by Digitimes after he opened the three-day DigiTec Expo 2018 on October 5 at Yerevan Expo Center.

The 33-year-old Arshakysan said Armenia's prime minister is only 42 years old and its deputy prime minister Tigran Avinyan was born in 1989 - all young leaders who grew up surrounded by digital technologies and are eager to gain industry experiences. He stressed that Armenia is eager to build a new-generation science park modeled after the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) in northern Taiwan.

He continued that Armenia boasts special expertise in the military engineering sector - which was showcased in many related exhibits at DigiTec Expo 2018, including solar energy-controlled autocannons, large-size drones and the nation's first autonomous vehicle.

Arshakysan also disclosed that Armenia will launch some foundations capitalized at over US$100 million each to support investment projects by tech startups, so as to more effectively encourage the development of startups.

Accompanying Arshakysan at the interview, Yvonne Chiu, chairperson of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), said that though a young country, Armenia has developed its own characteristics in many tech fields.

Chiu revealed that the 2019 World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) will be held in October in the Armenia capital city of Yerevan, and that Taiwan will organize a large delegation to render the largest support to the event.

Chiu led WITSA member representatives from Malaysia, Belarus, Egypt, Greece and Taiwan to attend the DigiTech Expo 2018.

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of reports about Armenia's IT industry development.)