On January 25, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the online summit of the heads of state of Central Asia and China. During his speech, the head of our state put forward an initiative to create a joint platform "Intellectual Silk Road" based on the IT parks of the Central Asian countries and China.
As the President noted, the widespread use of digital technologies is becoming increasingly important in the context of the post-pandemic recovery and the accelerated transition to the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
In this regard, taking into account the Chinese experience in this area, the Uzbek side expressed interest in developing a mutually beneficial partnership in the field of digital economy and trade, introducing e-government, blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence.
Today, there is no doubt to say that China has achieved significant success in the above areas. The country ranks first in the world in the number of patents for the development of artificial intelligence technologies. According to the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology, China's artificial intelligence industry will exceed $40 billion in 2021.
A number of such initiatives as Digital China, Information Technology Master Plan, Broadband China, Internet+ are being implemented. Achievements within the framework of these programs act as a growth driver for the Chinese economy for the coming decades.
Uzbekistan, in turn, also identified accelerated digitalization as a key factor in modern development and economic growth. In 2020, by the Decree of the President, the Strategy "Digital Uzbekistan-2030" was approved and is being consistently implemented, within the framework it is planned to double the share of the digital economy in Uzbekistan's GDP by 2023.
In accordance with the Strategy, a wide range of long-term issues related to the introduction of digital technologies in such areas as telecommunications, public services, the economy, healthcare, agriculture, etc. are being addressed. Implementation of 1,627 projects for the digital transformation of regions and industries has been determined for the next three years.
As the stability of the economy, the quality of work in all areas, the convenience of the population's life depends on information technology, the country's leadership creates ample opportunities for the development of this area. Thus, in 2019, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the Technological Park of Software Products and Information Technologies (IT-Park) in Tashkent and launched a new stage of large-scale construction on this project. IT offices, a business center, a hotel and other facilities are being built on the territory of the technopark.
Today, the innovation town has incubation and acceleration programs to support promising start-up projects. The first projects are being implemented in such areas as information and financial technologies, e-commerce, e-education and biotechnology. It is expected that in 2025 the volume of products produced here will reach 100 million dollars.
It is noteworthy that over the period of its activity, IT-Park has already shown results in the form of creating 30 new startups, a dozen projects in the field of information technology (One Million Uzbek Coders, Mgovaward, Open Data Challenge, Future Skills).
One of the key projects is the free educational platform “One Million Uzbek Coders” (“One Million Domestic Programmers”). It provides for distance learning of the general population through a special portal UzbekCoders.uz in order to train a new generation of digital technology specialists. As of October 2021, there are 1,020,908 registered users on this platform and 426,564 alumni.
In general, it can be noted that the initiative of Shavkat Mirziyoyev to create a joint platform "Intellectual Silk Road" has a strong base in Uzbekistan and other countries of Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, there is an international technopark of IT start-ups Astana Hub, in Turkmenistan - "Turkmen IT Park", in Kyrgyzstan - a High-Tech Park with a special legal and preferential tax regime. Thus, cooperation with China, one of the global leaders in this area, will make it possible to jointly develop and implement advanced technologies and know-how, to balance the depth and pace of digitalization development in the region.
Leading Researcher of ISRS
under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan