By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Development of entrepreneurship is one of the important conditions for a country's socio-economic growth. Azerbaijan makes maximum efforts to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy and also takes measures aimed at raising the level of entrepreneurial activity.
As of today, entrepreneurs in Baku and surrounding villages received preferential loans in the amount of 600 million manats ($352 million) through the Entrepreneurship Development Fund of Azerbaijan (ANFES), Deputy Economy Minister of Azerbaijan Sahib Mammadov said at a business forum in the village of Mardakan in Baku’s Khazar District.
He noted that entrepreneurs in Baku and surrounding villages have received preferential loans in the amount of 33.7 million manats ($19.77 million) since early 2019. These funds were provided for the implementation of 215 investment projects worth 145.7 million manats ($85.45 million).
During the business forum on April 25, 2019, entrepreneurs received concessional loans worth 10.7 million manats ($6.28 million). These funds will be used to finance various projects including, among others, the fields of livestock and poultry, and establishment of modern greenhouse complexes. It is envisaged that about 300 new workplaces will be opened through these projects.
Also, the forum delegates visited a modern greenhouse complex in the village of Zira in Khazar District, which was built with the concessional loans allocated by the Fund.
The Azerbaijani Entrepreneurship Development Fund was established on the basis of the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, operating in the country since 1997. This year, the Fund intends to issue preferential loans worth 160 million manats ($94 million).
Recently, new categories of entrepreneurship have been approved in Azerbaijan. Previously, the categories of entrepreneurs in the country were divided into small, medium and large enterprises. The new category is micro businesses, which covers companies with the staff of one to ten people and an annual income of up to 200,000 manats ($117,302).
Development of small and medium-sized businesses leads to the growth of entrepreneurship, which is one of the priority directions of Azerbaijan’s economic policy. Small and medium-sized businesses play an important role in development of the country's economy.
The share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade is planned to increase to 40 percent after 2025. The Agency for the Development of SMEs of Azerbaijan was established in 2017 to ensure the consistency of reforms, as well as the improvement of the business regulation system and the application of effective coordination, enhancement of the role and competitiveness of SMEs in the country's economy, and the compliance of the management system of this sphere with modern requirements.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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