For Immediate Release
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft Azerbaijan, forming an alliance aimed at reducing the use of pirated software and boosting innovation, sales, and jobs in Azerbaijan’s developing information technology sector.
“We are pleased to be able to support this partnership, and we look forward to the positive results that this public-private partnership is designed to produce,” states USAID/Caucasus-Azerbaijan Economic Growth Office Director Sheila Young.
Supported by USAID and Microsoft Azerbaijan, the PC Anti-Piracy Alliance is designed to fight software piracy in Azerbaijan. The International Data Corporation (IDC) 08 Piracy Study found that the rate of software piracy in Azerbaijan is 90%, one of the highest rates in the world. The prevalence of illegal software puts Azerbaijani businesses and consumers at risk, while crippling the national IT sector. The PC Anti-Piracy Alliance will begin by training commercial bank auditors from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan to detect the usage of unlicensed software in banks and businesses nationwide. In later stages, the project will expand to focus on the risks that large and medium-sized enterprises face by using pirated software.
Country Manager for Microsoft Azerbaijan, Mr. Teymur Akhundov, said, “We are glad to support this Anti-Piracy initiative that we believe is a timely project for Azerbaijan. Currently we observe positive trends in the market and sincerely hope that success of the project will facilitate correct framework for appropriate business trends.” The goal of the alliance is to decrease the use of pirated software by 10%. Secondary effects are estimated to increase the sales of licensed software by $10 million, stimulate nearly $20 million of economic turnover, generate $3.6 million in additional tax revenue, and create at least 900 new jobs.
USAID support for this alliance is provided under the Private Sector Competitiveness Enhancement Project. The objective of this project is to boost the competitiveness of targeted non-oil and gas sectors of Azerbaijan’s economy. The six targeted sectors are information technology, aquaculture, finance, dairy, poultry, and fruits and vegetables.
Last updated: March 12, 2014