By Rasana Gasimova
SOURCE, a global platform for the development and implementation of quality infrastructure projects by public-private partnerships has been presented at the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The SOURCE platform, managed by the Swiss Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, is currently used in 284 infrastructure projects in 51 countries across the globe. The platform provides online connection to the databases of major international financial institutions around the world and enables countries to effectively cooperate with investors to attract foreign direct investment. The platform also facilitates the formation of a centralized database of potential beneficiary organizations in the country as part of a public-private partnership.
In a presentation organized by the Asian Development Bank, Cédric van Riel, Program Manager of the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, highlighted the potential of the platform and expressed readiness for comprehensive cooperation in the use of the program in Azerbaijan.
The Center for Development of Public-Private Partnership has started its activity within the SMEs. The main directions of the Center are the development, implementation and effective coordination of public-private partnership programs and projects with relevant beneficiary organizations, expanding the participation of small and medium-sized businesses in such projects, attracting investors to finance projects, as well as educating all the interested, including government agencies.
An event was held for staff members who are going to represent SMEs in the working groups of the Commission on Business Environment and International Ratings.
The Center for Economic Reform Analysis and Communication informed Representatives of SMEs, who will be represented in 14 business groups, about the activities of the commissions and working groups, as well as the azranking.az portal, designed to improve the business and investment climate in the country and improve the country's rating in international rankings. It was noted that the effective work of the working groups, offers and initiatives put forward by them are important in terms of the development of entrepreneurship in the country and further increasing its competitiveness.
Proposals and opinions initiated by employees of the Agency involved in the working groups were were taken during the event.
The main task of the SMEs Development Agency is ensuring the succession of reforms, improving the business regulation system, and applying 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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