By Leman Mammadova
The cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is being expanded to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Azerbaijan.
Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Board of the SMEs Development Agency, met with Melek Cakmak, Head of FAO’s Partnership and Liasion Office in Azerbaijan.
At the meeting, Mammadov gave detailed information on the Agency’s activities, services and ongoing projects and programs.
The sides exchanged views on the possibilities of cooperation with international organizations in the relevant direction.
Speaking of the goals and directions of FAO’s activities in Azerbaijan, Cakmak stressed that the involvement of small and medium-sized businesses in the areas in which FAO works is important in terms of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
During the meeting, the sides held detailed discussions regarding the potential cooperation between the Agency and FAO for the development of small and medium-sized businesses. The parties also reached an agreement on the implementation of a project in this area in the near future.
Chakmak invited the Agency’s delegation to the Rome office of her organization, adding that bilateral discussions on the best practices of FAO in the world will be organized during the visit.
As the role of entrepreneurs has grown in the society, development of SMEs has been in the spotlight of Azerbaijan’s economic policy.
SMEs Development Agency aims to ensure the consistency of reforms, as well as the improvement of the business regulation system and application of effective coordination, enhancement of the role and competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses in the country's economy, and compliance of the management system of this sphere with modern requirements.
The share of SMEs in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade is planned to increase to 40 percent after 2025.
Azerbaijan has been a member of FAO since 1995. The organization's office in the country has been operating since 2007. The FAO's Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan was established in 2015. Azerbaijan and FAO implemented 53 projects in 1995-2018.
FAO attaches great importance to partnership with the private sector and cooperation with the international community in project implementation. Priority areas for cooperation with Azerbaijan are support of the development of agriculture, improvement of the living conditions of rural residents, as well as support to the Azerbaijani government to carry out reforms in this area.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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