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USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO]

2 March 2023 14:21 (UTC+04:00)
USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO]
Qabil Ashirov
Qabil Ashirov
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A conference on "Prospects for the development of alternative financial markets in Azerbaijan," organized by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was held in Baku.

Azernews reports that a total of 200 people, the representatives of local and international institutions and the private sector in the field of finance and banking participated in the event. At the event, the financing of SMEs, alternative financial instruments and international experience in this field, possibilities of applying alternative financing mechanisms in Azerbaijan were discussed.

Delivering an opening speech, the chairman of SMBD Orkhan Mammadov said that SMEs account for approximately 50 percent of the gross domestic product in developed economies and 35 percent in developing economies, and provide 60-70 percent of total employment.

“More than 99 percent of business entities operating in Azerbaijan are SMEs. As in the whole world, entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan prefer banks as a source of financing. Expanding the financing opportunities of SMEs and applying alternative financial instruments in this area are among the priorities of the activity of the SMBD,” Orkhan Mammadov noted.

He pointed out that the purpose of the event organized jointly with USAID is to discuss the international experience in the field of expanding the financial accessibility of SMEs and the possibilities of applying alternative financial instruments in Azerbaijan.

Then Michael Nehrbass, USAID Mission Director for Azerbaijan, made a speech and said that agriculture in Azerbaijan has great potential and USAID is ready to cooperate with SMBD in this field.

He noted that agriculture can create many jobs and this is why financing SMEs is very important.

Furthermore, Inara Valiyeva, the head of the Innovation and Digital Development Agency under the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport, shared her views on the activities of the agency that she represents and the support she provides to start-ups, and Zakir Nuriyev, the president of the "Azerbaijan Banks Association", shared his views on alternative financing.

Besides that, panel discussions were organized within the framework of the forum on the topics "Islamic banking and microfinance, including prospects for development in Azerbaijan", "SME support tools: Guarantee, Asset-based financing and Leasing" and "The importance of the development of the startup ecosystem".

Moreover, local and international experience and future development prospects are exchanged in the panel sessions.

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USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
USAID is keen to cooperate with SMBD [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
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