By Leman Mammadova
Iranian companies can benefit from opportunities provided by the Azerbaijani government for startups.
This was stated by Tural Karimli, Chairman of Board of the Azerbaijan’s Innovation Agency under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, at a meeting with Ali Vahdati, Head of Iran's National Innovation Fund, on October 17.
Karimli stressed that a grant of up to 500,000 manats ($300,000) and a loan of up to 7 million manats ($4.12 million) can be provided to startups in Azerbaijan.
“If any company obtains a residence in the High Technology Park of Azerbaijan, it will be exempted from various taxes. They will also be exempted from customs duties if they export their products to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus,” he said.
In his words, Baku has turned into a real transport hub due to the country’s geographical location.
Karimli further pointed out that nine foreign startups are registered in Azerbaijan, including three Israeli, three Ukrainian and three Russian.
“The Ukrainian startup needs $2 million in investments. In a short time, about 2 days, we checked these startups. They have already invested $17 million, and Azerbaijan should invest $2 million. Therefore, the Agency’s representatives are going to visit Kiev,” he noted.
“Azerbaijan is interested in cooperation with Iranian startup companies,” he added.
Representatives of 50 Iranian companies operating in the field of high technologies arrived in Baku as part of the Innovation Week.
The Innovation Agency’s goal is to create a dynamic innovation system in the country that serves to transform ideas into products to get access to the market.
As startups are mainly related to the application and development of new technologies, Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and High Technologies is taking important measures to support them.
In this regard, several agencies were created in the country to enhance innovative environment and widespread introduction of new technologies.
Recently, a joint consortium has been established with the participation of the Innovation Agency under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, AzInTelecom LLC and companies Lenovo, Nutanix, and iQRex to ensure the participation of startups in tenders held by various government agencies and individual companies, as well as in important projects and to support them in this field.
The consortium will provide local startuppers with an opportunity to get access to various financial sources, to take part in important projects, including large and medium-sized tenders.
Moreover, a strategy for innovative development will be developed in Azerbaijan. Boston Counsulting company has already been involved in this direction as an expert.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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