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EU to issue €13.5 to Azerbaijan

20 September 2016 14:13 (UTC+04:00)
EU to issue €13.5 to Azerbaijan

By Nigar Abbasova

The European Union will provide a new assistance package worth €13.5 million ($8.24 million) to Azerbaijan, which will focus on enhancing the competitiveness and export opportunities of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as on improving the business environment by providing assistance to key government institutions.

The package will allow to strengthen economic diversification through targeted assistance in the areas of financial, economic and judicial governance in Azerbaijan and improve the business environment in the country.

The programme titled 'Technical Cooperation Facility' will aim at enhancing the competitiveness and export performance of small and medium-sized enterprises and, as a result, strengthen non-oil GDP growth and job creation in the country.

The funding is provided through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), the main financial and cooperation instrument through which the funding is given to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries, including Azerbaijan.

The focus of EU assistance to Azerbaijan for the current programming period, which covers 2014-2017, is put on three sectors, including education, regional and rural development and justice.

The development of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan remains a priority, the country has already taken certain steps to stimulate business climate in the country by introducing new privileges for entrepreneurs. Moreover, more ambitious steps are planned to eliminate artificial barriers to the development of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan.

The relations between the EU and Azerbaijan date back to 1991 and are based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which provides for wide-ranging cooperation in such areas as political dialogue trade, investment, economic matters, legislation and culture.

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Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova

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