By Ayya Lmahamad
Entrepreneurs are interested in creating catering facilities in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories and investing in this sector.
The remark was made by the Board Chairman of the Agency for Development of Small and Medium-sized Businesses Orkhan Mammadov during the online forum on “Food industry and public catering sector: current situation and prospects” held with the organizational support of the Public Council under the agency and in partnership with the Association of Food and Beverage Industry Representatives.
Mammadov underlined that liberation of Azerbaijani lands from Armenian occupation in 2020 has opened up new business opportunities.
"To date, the Agency has received many appeals from entrepreneurs wishing to open businesses in the liberated areas. These appeals mainly concern manufacturing, tourism, textiles, construction, medicine, as well as catering, food industry and agriculture,” he stated.
He added that the agency provides the necessary information support, coordination and consulting services to those wishing to establish business and invest in the liberated areas.
Touching upon the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the catering sector, Mammadov noted government’s measures taken to protect businesses through various support mechanisms.
Moreover, the chairman of the agency noted that the forum, held with the participation of entrepreneurs and government agencies in the post-war period and on the eve of the pandemic end, is an important platform for thematic discussions and dialogue between the public and private sectors.
The Deputy Chairman of the Food Safety Agency Balarahim Guliyev briefed the participants on the measures taken by the agency during the pandemic. He noted that as part of COVID-19 combat measures, extensive educational activities are being carried among the population and entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, Guliyev stated that with the participation of international and local experts, a concept document was prepared and submitted to the relevant authorities on the agency’s activities in the liberated territories.
He underlined that entrepreneurs have a responsibility for the restoration of these lands, and invited them to cooperate with the agency to resolve the issues arising from the assigned tasks implementation.
Vice President of the National Confederation of Organizations of Entrepreneurs Vugar Zeynalov stated that the organization always supports entrepreneurs in reducing the pandemic’s impact on the development of entrepreneurship in 2020. In addition, he noted that numerous applications and proposals from entrepreneurs were submitted to government agencies and discussions were held with the participation of public and private sectors.
Likewise, Chairman of the Association of Representatives of the Food and Beverage Industry Emin Dostyari briefed the participants on the difficulties in this area that entrepreneurs faced during the pandemic and voiced a number of suggestions from the association members.
Additionally, Chairman of the Public Council and the Agency for Development of SMBs Farhad Garashov noted that the forum was organized to discuss the challenges faced by SMBs in the food industry and catering during the pandemic, within the government- business dialogue and their expectations in the post-pandemic period, and to study and submit relevant proposals to the relevant agencies.
Representatives of the Ministry of Economy and its structural subdivisions, the Ministry of Agriculture, FSA, the State Tourism Agency of Azerbaijan, as well as business entities and associations operating in various fields took part in the forum, which was held in a videoconference format.
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