After almost two decades of rapid expansion, Armenia’s information-technology industry is becoming a rare economic success story for this small, blockaded South-Caucasus country.
Oriented toward exports, the information-technology (IT) sector grew by an average of 22 percent annually from 2008-2013, much faster than any other economic sphere, according to government data. With a combined output of almost $380 million, the nearly 400 IT firms operating in Armenia accounted for 3.8 percent of last year’s Gross Domestic Product of almost $10 billion. The sector currently employs over 10,000 computer programmers and software engineers -- a figure comparable to the total workforce of the Armenian mining industry, the single largest source of export revenue.
Yet, according to the Ministry of Economy, more than half of these tech firms have come into existence since 2007. “This is the only area where Armenia is successfully competing on a global, not even regional, scale,” said Yeva Hyusian, the director of the Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia (MICA).
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