Azerbaijan, US mull co-op in SMBs field
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s Agency for Small and Medium Business Development Chairman Okrhan Mammadov held a meeting with US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce Chairman Reza Vaziri on August 9.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the Agency’s support and services for the creation of new business structures and the development of SMBs. In addition, the sides exchanged views on opportunities for joint cooperation.
Moreover, Agency’s representatives expressed readiness to support the involvement of American investors in the projects of Azerbaijani SMBs, the establishment of ties between the businessmen of the two countries and the expansion of existing cooperation.
The presentation of potential projects of local entrepreneurs at ‘roadshow’ in the US and the cooperation with the US Small Business Administration was also on the agenda of the meeting.
Additionally, the sides discussed organization of trainings for local SMBs interested in conducting trade transactions with the US using the capabilities of the Agency’s SMB Development Centers and participating in the creation of SMB clusters.
In July, Azerbaijan’s Agency for Small and Medium Businesses Development and the U.S. Agency for International Development signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of SMBs. According to the memorandum, the agencies will implement joint initiatives to create a more favorable and competitive business environment that allows local SMBs to increase productivity, income, quality, and diversify markets. The memorandum also envisages the implementation of joint measures to support crisis resilience measures such as the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, within the framework of joint cooperation, the agencies will focus on strengthening the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized businesses operating in Azerbaijan, the potential of business associations, and introduction of innovative business technologies in the country.
It should be noted that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the US amounted to $260.2 million in the first half of 2021. In addition, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $660.8 million in 2020.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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