Bakutel 2013, the largest telecommunication and information technology exhibition in the Caucasus and Caspian region will take place at the Baku Expo Centre from the 2nd to the 5th of December. The exhibition has become the most important platform for the display of achievements in the high technology sector. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Azerbaijan has played a special role in the rapid growth and development of the exhibition through many years of valuable support. The international importance of the exhibition is confirmed by the visits of representatives of international industry institutions including the United Nations (UN), International Communications Union (ITU), Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications and by the status of the exhibition as a UFI Approved Event granted by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI).2013 has been declared the year of ICT in Azerbaijan on the initiative of Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This momentous occasion can be felt throughout the Bakutel 2013 exhibition. Bakutel will include a rich business programme, various events and many interesting activities. One of the indicators of the growing potential of the industry is the increase in the area of the exhibition by 35%, which will unite 300 companies from 27 countries. This year, Bakutel will occupy three halls of the Baku Expo Center for the first time and covers 12,000 m2. The foyer will contain the national pavilion of Azerbaijan, which will present detailed information about the work carried out by the Ministry in recent years as well as plans for the development of the industry. The United Nations (UN) pavilion will also be there with a stand for the first time to demonstrate their ICT related projects. The active involvement of national pavilions organised with the support of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan is becoming a tradition at Bakutel. This year, programmes, product presentations and services which will interest Azerbaijan and the whole Caspian region will be presented by 15 countries, including Belarus, Hungary, Israel, Spain, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Croatia and Estonia. Afghanistan, Italy and the USA will also make their debut appearance at the exhibition with their national stands.There will be a prominent presence of the leading ICT companies, mobile network operators from Azerbaijan, communications operators, Internet providers, systems integrators and distributors. 40% of the exhibitors will be making repeat appearances. A notable fact which is an achievement of the many years of work of the exhibition is the yearly increase in the participation of local companies, which will comprise 30% of the exhibitors this year.The four days of the exhibition will cover the following sectors: telecommunications and networks, broadband communication and technologies, cable and wireless communication, satellite communication and technologies, radio equipment and technologies, software, automation systems, IT and office technologies. Many international and local ICT projects that Azerbaijan will be participating in will be represented at the exhibition. For instance, the project for the creation of the optical Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway, Europe Iran Speed Highway (EPEC), the creation of a HighTech Park in Azerbaijan, the telecommunications satellite and many others. The exhibition continues to draw attention to the space industry and the creation and staffing of structures for ground based satellite control. One of the exhibitors from this sector is Azerkosmos, which will present their projects. Another interesting development presented at the exhibition will be the mobile ASAN (Azerbaijan Service and Assessment Network) Centres.One of the traditions of Bakutel is the opportunity for young specialists to speak about their inventions, programmes and services as part of the largest ICT event in Azerbaijan and the region. A lot of attention will be given to start ups, which will be provided with special stands on the initiative of the organisers and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This year, 11 young specialists will demonstrate their projects. The rich business programme uniting all ICT specialists will be another special feature of the exhibition this year. The programme includes various seminars and conferences on the evolution and regional development of the internet in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan-Israel and Azerbaijan-USA ICT forums. Events dedicated to international cooperation will also be an important part of the business programme – the yearly forum of the main telecommunications operators in the TASIM consortium, the meeting of the SPECA workgroup on “The development of an economy based on knowledge” of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), an event connected with the creation of a Centre for specialists in the partnership of the public and private sectors of ICT in Azerbaijan. A major event for Azerbaijan will be the conference on the subject of “International cooperation in the sphere of cyber safety: problems and prospects” which will gather more than 50 delegates from over 20 countries. The 1st Online Conference of Azerbaijanis of the World will take place on the 2nd of December, and the First Regional Internet Management Forum will be held between the 2nd and 4th of December.One of the most significant events that will take place during Bakutel 2013 is the announcement by one of the participating companies operating in ICT sector of Azerbaijan that it is making its stocks available for the first time in the country through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Baku Stock Exchange.Bakutel promises to be even more exciting and fulfilling in the Year of ICT of Azerbaijan. The organisers have planned a programme of additional events which will add to the business to business programme with colourful competitions, surprises, prize draws and virtual competitions. A grandiose fashion show will take place on the first day, with outfits created out of used IT components. The third pavilion will contain a gaming zone, where everyone can take part in playing x-box games and play on laser strings. Titan the Robot will be there to greet visitors – this is the first time the world famous robot will appear in the CIS with his show. Everyone fell in love with Titan when they saw his appearance in the action film Real Steel together with Hugh Jackman. Titan has also taken part in the presentations of the largest companies and famous brands, the Formula 1 Grand-Prix and being part of the world tour of Rihanna, the world superstar. You can find out more information about the robot and his performance on the exhibition website at http://bakutel.iteca.az/2013/. You will be able to rest and talk about your impressions in the rest area which is also located in the third pavilion. The special occasion of the Year of ICT will also be marked by the release of special editions of the Bakutel 2013:Daily News newspaper. The paper will talk about the daily work of the exhibition, the events of the business programme and publish articles by key specialists from the ICT sector and interviews with exhibitors to be distributed among the exhibitors and visitors to the exhibition. Bakutel will yet again underline its status as the main and highly effective business platform that facilitates meetings of industry specialists that lead to long term cooperation in the field of telecommunications. The main sponsor for the conference this year will be HP. The official security partner for all exhibitions organised by Iteca Caspian in 2013 is SafeLife, while the official hotels are Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel and Caucas Point Hotel. Greenwich Travel Club is the main tour operator. The exhibition is organised by Iteca Caspian and their partners ITE Group Plc.