By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan's Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have held meetings with a number of Japanese agencies and organizations to discuss opportunities for cooperation in the SMEs sector.
The meetings were held as part of the 10th meeting of the State Commission on Economic Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Japan and the Japan-Azerbaijan Economic Committee was held in Tokyo on November 21-22.
At a meeting with representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Chairman of SMEs, Orkhan Mammadov informed about the activities of the Agency, support and services provided to SMEs in the country. He also answered the questions regarding the business environment and investment opportunities in Azerbaijan, as well as prospects for cooperation in the field of SMEs.
Expressing satisfaction with the visit of the SMEs Agency delegation, the Japanese side informed about the activities of the Japanese Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA), as well as other Japanese business support organizations and shared their views on cooperation opportunities.
The meeting discussed cooperation between SMEs Agency and SMEA, techniques and technologies used to support SMEs in Japan, exchange of experience in financial support mechanisms, start-ups, business innovations, organization of business tours of Azerbaijani SMEs to Japan and establishing direct contacts between them. Discussions were held on organising video conferences between the two countries, as well as opportunities for cooperation in agriculture.
During the meetings of SMEs Agency representatives with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), information was provided on the activities and opportunities for cooperation between SMEs and technical support in the field of SME financing, joint arrangements and the use of new support mechanisms for SMEs. The sides exchanged views on rendering services, as well.
During the meeting with the Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises Support Organization (“SME Support Japan”), information about the activities of the organization, as well as the electronic platform used for finding foreign partners was highlighted.
It was noted that Azerbaijani SMEs can use this platform. The sides agreed to take appropriate steps to organize joint activities with the participantion of entrepreneurs of the two countries.
Small and medium-sized businesses play an important role in the development of Azerbaijan’s economy. Development of SMEs leads to the growth of entrepreneurship, which is one of the priority directions of Azerbaijan’s economic policy.
The Agency for the Development of SMEs aims to ensure the consistency of reforms, as well as the improvement of the business regulation system and the application of effective coordination, enhancement of the role and competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses in the country's economy, and the compliance of the management system of this sphere with modern requirements.
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