The priorities of the Azerbaijani government next year will be reforms and the development of a competitive environment, Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said during the presentation of the annual stand-alone publication “Foreign Business in Azerbaijan: Business Climate Survey 2021” by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, Report informs.
There is a lot of potential for investment in various sectors of the Azerbaijani economy, the minister said, inviting foreign companies to participate in projects, including in the liberated Azerbaijani territories.
He added that the creation of specialized economic zones is also expected in Karabakh.
In industrial parks, incentive measures for export-import operations, customs, and tax incentives will be applied, which in turn will help to increase Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports in the future, Jabbarov said, adding that the export of goods in this segment is planned to be increased to $2.2 billion.
He also spoke about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business.
“Needless to say, last year and a half have been unprecedented for everyone in the world, and Azerbaijan is not an exception. I think now is more or less but appropriate time also to do some stocktaking of what work or didn’t work and what kind of future in a way expects business in Azerbaijan. Clearly, in our case, the year was marked not only by pandemic but also by the liberation of the Azerbaijani territories,” he said.
“You know because you are all doing business in Azerbaijan about the type of measures we enacted to support businesses to go through the difficult times. Clearly, this was not a charity, this was what every responsible government should do, and that is to be next to its citizens, to be next to its corporations when the difficult times come. We, therefore, launched a number of initiatives, a number of projects, including direct financial assistance to support tax payment of subsidies, covering interest for businesses and a number of other measures, and of course broad measures of public, social support. The good news is that a number of these initiatives are still in place, such as subsidizing interest rates for businesses, some of the tools which we established last year will be with us for a long period of time, an example of that is an electronic credit platform, which for the first time enabled businesses not only to apply in electronic form but also to make sure that their loan applications are being competed for by several financial institutions and they can pick those providing condition of getting them on better terms.”
“We were projecting 3.4 percent of annual growth of GDP for 2021, our international partners didn’t agree, they said that we’ll have 1.7 percent, we’re projecting that now it will be 4 percent,” Jabbarov noted.
“For the first eight months of 2021, tax revenues increased by 13.4 percent compared to last year, and that is roughly 23 percent more than we initially planned. What is very important for us is that 75 percent of revenues come from the private sector,” he added.