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ASAN issues first simplified licenses

11 November 2015 16:51 (UTC+04:00)
ASAN issues first simplified licenses

By Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan has begun the process of stimulating the nation’s business environment by issuing simplified business licenses.

The country’s leadership has repeatedly stated that development of entrepreneurship is a priority, however, a large number of licenses required for businesses, and existing procedures for their issuance, created additional obstacles for the development of entrepreneurship, along with concerns about corruption.

Today, the hydrocarbon rich country is expanding its non-oil sector, as the government takes measures to simplify business procedures.

The Economy and Industry Ministry has already started to issue business licenses through the ASAN service center, the agency reported.

The new licenses were granted to entrepreneurs engaged in domestic and foreign cargo transportation, pharmaceuticals, sale of ethyl alcohol and alcoholic beverages, as well as urban and intercity passenger transportation.

“At the moment, the ministry is considering appeals received in connection with the renewal of the licenses. The licenses will be issued promptly,” the agency said.

Businessmen expressed satisfaction with the rapid process of consideration of applications and issuing of licenses, and noted that the suspension of inspections on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev’s orders, as well as the decree on simplification of licensing procedures, are another indicator of reforms aimed at improving the business environment in Azerbaijan.

The head of state signed a decree simplifying licensing procedures for entrepreneurs and encouraging business transparency on October 19.

The decree envisaged rendering services for issuing business licenses by ASAN, which has already shown itself as the easiest way to acquire documents in Azerbaijan. The service is successfully serving its primary aim – fighting corruption and bribery.

More than 600 requests to update business licenses were received starting November 2. About 80 appeals were heard, and 24 of these appeals resulted in the granting of licenses. About 10 licenses have been already issued to entrepreneurs.

Today, 23 licenses are issued by state authorities for 59 types of business activities.

Earlier, the Doing Business 2016 report by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation noted that Azerbaijan had entered the list of the top 10 countries suitable for starting a business.

According to the report, Azerbaijan achieved the greatest success in such categories as dealing with construction permits, receiving electricity, protecting minority investors, trading across borders and resolving insolvency.

Stability and protection of the rights of investors, a favorable geographical position and rich natural resources, as well as a skilled workforce, have turned Azerbaijan into one of the attractive countries for businesses in the region.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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