By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan’s Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) have signed a memorandum of cooperation to support SMEs during matches in Baku within UEFA EURO 2020.
The memorandum was signed by Chairman of SMEs Orkhan Mammadov and AFFA Vice President Elkhan Mammadov as part of the event entitled "EURO 2020: prospects for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) held in Baku on February 19.
The document envisages selling the products manufactured by local entrepreneurs in the UEFA EURO 2020 fan zone, which will be organized in Baku in the territory of the National Park in the White City, as well as in the places adjacent to the Baku Olympic Stadium.
Speaking at the event, Orkhan Mammadov said that Azerbaijan will host UEFA EURO matches for the first time, being one of the 11 host countries, with the active participation of the tourism sector.
“Guests from neighboring Turkey, as well as Switzerland and Wales will arrive in Baku. The whole world knows about the fans from Turkey. The Welsh, being British, are also known for their fanaticism in football and a great number of tourists are expected to arrive from Wales. Switzerland is also known for its fans,” he stressed.
Mammadov noted that AFFA together with UEFA will open a fan zone within this tournament, similar to that one during F1 racing. He informed the audience that the fan zones will open a little earlier before the matches and will be open until the end of the season - according to the UEFA standards.
“The Agency guarantees that SMEs will receive the necessary support in this sphere,” he said.
Elkhan Mammadov said that the UEFA EURO 2020 matches in Baku will attract three times more tourists than the 2019 UEFA Europa League final.
He stressed that this tournament is a great responsibility for AFFA, while providing SMEs a great opportunity to earn and establish contacts with entrepreneurs from other countries.
“The 2019 UEFA Europa League final attracted 38,000 foreign citizens to Baku within three days. Due to importance of this year’s tournament, this figure will triple and the residents and guests of Baku will witness the football festival the entire month. Entrepreneurs must fully use this chance,” he noted.
Addressing the event, Coordinator of AFFA’s EURO 2020 project Kamran Valiyev said that the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) urges entrepreneurs to actively participate in UEFA EURO 2020.
He noted that the fan zone will be created on the territory of the national park in the White City, in the coastal zone in connection with the UEFA EURO matches in Baku, stressing the tournament will provide broad opportunities for local business in the fields of providing guests with food, transport, accommodation, souvenirs and gifts.
Note that Baku will host the 16th UEFA EURO 2020 in this year. The country’s capital will host three matches of Group A of EURO 2020: Wales-Switzerland (June 13), Turkey-Wales (June 17), Switzerland-Turkey (June 21), as well as one of the quarter-final game (July 4).
The matches of EURO 2020 will be held at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
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