By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan’s Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) continues to stimulate activities of micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses in the country.
The 2nd Azerbaijan International Exhibition of Gifts and Promo Items (Gift & Promo 2019) and the 2nd Azerbaijan International Exhibition of Advertising and Printed Products (AdPrint 2019) opened at Boulevard Hotel Baku on September 12.
The exhibitions, supported by the SMEs Development Agency, showcase a number of social entrepreneurship projects, as well as products of about 50 local and foreign companies including handicraft items of micro and small entrepreneurs.
During his opening speech, the Agency Chairman Orkhan Mammadov emphasizes the importance of sectoral exhibitions for the development of non-oil sector and diversification of economy.
He also noted that the Agency supports micro and small entrepreneurs, including women, the disabled people, startups and youth within the government support mechanisms and the Agency’s services.
One of ways to support activities is ensuring participation of micro and small entrepreneurs in various exhibitions and festivals held in the country. The main goal is to support the presentation of SMEs products and services, expansion of business opportunities and establishment of business connections, Mammadov added.
A stand, created with the support of the Agency in partnership with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), exhibits handmade products of women entrepreneurs and disabled entrepreneurs. The stand exhibits more than 50 handicrafts, such as souvenirs, wood carvings, samples of carpet weaving, decorative and applied art, jewelry and accessories, toys, etc.
The exhibitions are organized by Caspian Event Organizers LLC and will last until September 14.
The main task of the SMEs Development Agency is ensuring the succession of reforms, improvement of the business regulation system, and application of effective coordination, enhancing the role and competitiveness of SMEs in the country's economy, as well as the compliance of the management system in this area with modern requirements.
The share of SMEs in employment in Azerbaijan was 76 percent last year, and in recent years, comprehensive work has been carried out for the development of SMEs. In particular, inspections of business entities have been suspended and the process of obtaining licenses has been simplified.
The share of SMEs in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade is planned to increase to 40 percent after 2025.
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