Belgian former PM: Economic diversification - best choice for Azerbaijan

    ECONOMICS  01 December 2022 - 14:07

    Belgian former Prime Minister Yves Leterme has said that economic diversification is the best choice for Azerbaijan.

    Leterme made the remarks on December 1 during the opening ceremony of the 18th annual meeting of the International Network for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) -INSME dedicated to "Empowering SMEs, Economic Diversification and Green Growth", Trend reports.

    "The policy of the leadership of Azerbaijan and the country as a whole is a symbol of economic stability," he noted.

    Laterme added that it is more important than ever to achieve the full potential of developing SMEs for the sustainability of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and other global crises.

    Meanwhile, INSME President Sergio Arzeni said during the same event that Azerbaijan has the best practices in the development of SMEs, which it can share with other countries.

    Arzeni noted that the INSME supports Azerbaijan's efforts to diversify the economy.

    "In this regard, the Azerbaijan Small and Medium Business Development Agency is an important member of the INSME," he noted.

    The INSME president also said that the competitiveness of each company depends on the quality of education of employees, so the professional development and retraining of employees is very important for INSME.

    Moreover, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov has said that the government plans to exempt SMEs from taxes for seven years.

    “The creation of a strong business sector amid global economic challenges contributes to the further development of the country. I would like to note that high energy prices help attract foreign currency to the country and strengthen macroeconomic indicators,” the minister said at today’s event, adding He the development of SMEs in Azerbaijan is a priority.

    Jabbarov noted that the main mechanisms for business development are state support for entrepreneurship, incentives, and soft loans.

    “Moreover, we have simplified business reporting procedures. Our country has achieved high performance in Doing Business. It is planned to expand business opportunities, in particular, by exempting SMEs from taxes for seven years,” the minister said.

    Jabbarov added that presently, there are 850,000 SMEs in Azerbaijan.

    “This was facilitated by the state support for SMEs, as well as ensuring transparency and reducing tax collection,” he said.

    According to the minister, 66 per cent of the overall exports by SMEs in 2021 account for non-oil products.

    “The production and export of non-oil products by SMEs are growing every year. The government will continue supporting them,” he said.

    Caliber.Az

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