By Nigar Abbasova
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank's private sector arm, is ready to finance projects implemented by residents of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) being created in the Alat settlement of Baku’s Garadagh district and includes the territory of Azerbaijan’s Baku Sea Trade Port, a source in the corporation told Trend.
A special delegation headed by ICD’s director general Haled Al Abudi paid a visit to Baku in May 2016 to discuss cooperation in the sphere. ICD also displayed interest in rendering consulting services within the project.
“The country is currently engaged in the preparation of the relevant legislation, necessary for the activity of free trade zones in the country. The ICD will be able to participate in the financing of the projects implemented in Alat, after preparation of the legal background,” the source said.
Establishment of FTZ in the country is considered to be a milestone of Azerbaijan's policy to strengthen the country's position as a regional logistics and transportation hub, while its main objective is the provision of sustainable development of national economy.
The project is expected to bring huge benefits to the state budget of the country once established. Registration of residents of the FTZ is expected to begin in January 2017. FTZ is expected to bring up to $1 billion just in the first few years.
Meanwhile, Economic Zones World Company, a global developer and operator of economic zones, technology, logistics and industrial parks which belongs to DP World Corporation is also involved in the creation of Azerbaijan’s first-ever FTZ, as Dubai model was used as a basis in the process of its creation. The relevant agreement on the provision of consulting services was signed on September 7.
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on March 17, 2016, on measures to create a free trade zone type special economic area.
Being established in November 1999 the ICD supports the economic development of its member states through providing finance for private sector projects, promoting entrepreneurship, and providing advisory services to the governments and private companies.
The corporation, which finances mainly small and medium enterprises in the country, has been operating in Azerbaijan since 2003. The ICD is the founder of Ansar Leasing and co-founder of the Caspian International Investment Company.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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