17:05 | 08.06.17 | Interviews | exclusive 183848

WITSA officials: Armenia prepares children for digital era

Yerevan will host World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in 2019. The organizational works will kick off tomorrow within the frames of 10th anniversary edition of DigiTec Business Forum.

Chairman of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) Yvonne Chiu and Secretary General of WITSA James Poisant gave an interview to Itel.am within their visit to Armenia.

-Taiwan and Armenia have the same geographical sizes, and we will both host WVCIT, respectively in 2017 and 2019. How did Taiwan succeed in becoming a large tech hub?

Yvonne Chiu - It is great advantage that Taiwan’s government is supporting us. If you have a strategy, government will support you. You need to be patient, as success requires time.

James Poisant - Taiwan made a decision 30 years ago to fund and develop IT business globally. IT community committed the government to fund the industry, so the sector evolved. As a result, they have one of the biggest powerhouses of ICT products and services around the globe. The key to success is the joint work and cooperation of the government and the industry, regardless of who is in office.
- You met with the Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan yesterday. What was the topic of your discussion?

James Poisant - We saw that Armenia was developing a strategic plan. We are currently conducting a major study in Asia (23 countries), which will show the world what it actually takes to be successful in developing a digital economy. We did not have a lot of time to exactly understand where Armenia is, but you can all learn from the study, which we are happy to share with you and your government.

photo © Mediamax

- What has surprised you in Armenian IT?

James Poisant. Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is on the right track. Training those kids in every aspect of technology is what IT industry is looking for. I was told during my last visit that these kids are being trained for the digital era. It’s perfect, that’s what you need.

Touching upon the education, schools and universities should work with the industry to succeed. When you visit the classroom, you should make sure that the curriculum prepares that child for a real job. In fact, when graduates cannot perform well in a given company, the latter faces a choice: either stay and retrain people or look for some other places. But you don’t want them to go to another country, do you?

No company wants ill-trained people. Besides, companies can simply take the work online anywhere in the world. That’s why the employees really need to be aware of the demands in the industry, they need to be compatible.

Yvonne Chiu - Education is also important. We had a tour at several IT companies, and found out that their main concern was the lack of qualified specialists. You must train students at schools, and government should help you by funding the sector.

I would like to see Armenia and Taiwan having a good friendship. You are surrounded by land, and we are surrounded by ocean. You can give us the land and we can give you the water (laughing – edt.). I noticed that Armenians are positive and hardworking people, but you need to have the right direction and focus.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Yvonne Chiu and James Poisant