By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan makes maximum efforts to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy by raising the level of entrepreneurial activity. The government focuses on the establishment of strong entrepreneurial base in the country to strengthen private sector's share in the national economy.
To date, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund granted 2.3 billion manats ($1.35 billion) of preferential loans to more than 35,000 entrepreneurs, said Mammad Musayev, President of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations of Azerbaijan (ASK).
The cost of total investment projects amounted to 5.1 billion manats ($3 billion).
Earlier, 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).
Musayev added that since the early year, 463 entrepreneurs received preferential loans worth 46 million manats ($27 million) in financing of investment projects totaling 175.7 million manats ($103.38 million).
“Realization of these investment projects will allow to open up to 1,800 jobs,” he said.
He further stressed that 68 percent of preferential loans accounts for the agrarian sector, 75 percent for regions.
Musayev also stressed that so far, entrepreneurs have received 333 investment promotion licenses for investment projects worth more than 2.8 billion manats ($1.65 billion) and 2188 certifying documents were issued based on these investment promotion documents.
he added that 41 percent of the projects covers agriculture and 59 percent – industry. As a result of these projects, up to 22,000 jobs will be created.
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).
The authorized capital of the Fund was set at 1.9 billion manats ($1.1 billion). Loans are issued for 5,000 ($2,933) to 50,000 manats ($29,326) for a period of 3 years, from 50,000 to 1 million manats ($586,510) for 5 years and from 1 million to 10 million ($5.87 million) for 10 years. The annual loan rate is estimated at 5 percent.
The Fund intends to issue preferential loans worth 160 million manats ($94 million) this year.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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