By Rasana Gasimova
A delegation of Azerbaijan’s Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) visited Singapore to exchange and share experience in the SME sector.
During the visit, the SME delegation held a series of meetings with relevant state and private entities operating in Singapore in the field of small and medium business.
At a meeting with representatives of the Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Enterprise Singapore, Orkhan Mammadov, the chairman of the board of the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), spoke about the activities of the Agency and the support and services provided to SMEs, noting the interest to cooperate with Singapore in this area.
Mammadov highlighted opportunities in the areas of investment cooperation, exchange of experience in entrepreneurship development and financial support for SMEs, use of start-up programs, and organization of mutual business missions.
Enterprise Singapore representatives informed about the activities of the organization and financial support mechanisms for SMEs, and said that the organization supports SMEs development and access to foreign markets. Enterprise Singapore representatives showed interest in the access to new regions, finding new trading partners and cooperation in this area
During the meeting between the SMEs delegation and the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, the guests were informed about the activities of the mentioned structures, support measures provided to small and medium enterprises. The organization of mutual business missions, exchange of experience in the field of SME development centers were also discussed.
During the meeting held with McKinsey & Company at the Singapore Digital Opportunity Center, it was noted that the company's virtual enterprise model is designed to use digital technologies in business development and operates in many other countries, along with Singapore. Theoretical and practical seminars have been held in the centers, close cooperation with start-ups have been carried out.
The parties exchanged views on the possibility of creating similar model of enterprises in Azerbaijan. The SMEs Development Agency delegation got acquainted with the work of the virtual enterprise model at the Digital Opportunity Center.
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 SMEs held a share of 76 percent in employment in the country 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.
The stand of the Agency won a 'Best social project award at the 2nd Azerbaijan International Exhibition of Gifts and Promo Items (Gift & Promo 2019) held in Baku on September 12-14.
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