By Nigar Abbasova
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is ready to provide advisory services to Azerbaijan for the creation of special industrial and economic zones and Islamic capital markets development.
In his interview with Trend Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, CEO and general manager of ICD mentioned that the corporation is willing to cooperate with Azerbaijan in all areas related to the private sector.
The issue of investing in the creation of industrial parks and sites in Azerbaijan as well as rendering of consulting services to the country associated with the creation of free-trade zone were on the highest agenda during the meeting of Al-Aboodi with Azerbaijan Economy minister Shahin Mustafayev held within the framework of one-day visit of ICD manager to Azerbaijan on May 31.
Al-Aboodi mentioned that the main objective of the visit was examination of certain initiatives of the government and possibilities of ICD’s assistance in mobilization of funds by means of different projects implemented in the private sector.
"ICD has a program dedicated to the development and implementation of free trade zones. We have successfully obtained funds for the development and implementation of such initiatives in many member countries to accelerate the attraction of direct foreign investments. We are ready to render assistance to Azerbaijan in this direction,” he said.
The CEO also emphasized the importance and tremendous influence of such initiatives on the development of economy.
The CEO also touched upon the issue of Islamic capital market saying that advisory department renders its services in this direction. The department specializes in sukuk which stands for bonds granting the investor a share of an asset and capital market which are envisaged for the financing of projects in private and state sector.
He also mentioned that ICD’s operations also include wide range of works on designing of structure, support of implementation and fundraising for the provision of technical studies and external consulting.
"ICD will liaise with Azerbaijan to provide assistance through knowledge sharing via the Reverse Linkage program of the Islamic Development Bank Group, to share similar experiences of other member countries in similar programs, as well as providing assistance to bring foreign direct investments into the country," Al-Aboodi said.
Industrial parks have already been created in Sumgait, in the village of Balakhani and Garadagh in Baku and Mingachevir. The country takes steps to further boost this sphere and create industrial parks in other cities. The government provides favorable conditions for other countries to participate in the industrial parks as the project is considered to give a further impetus for the development of non-oil sector of economy.
Creation of free trade zone which is located in the Alat settlement of Baku’s Garadagh district including the territory of Baku Sea Trade Port is of great importance for the development of the economy of Azerbaijan and strengthening of the country's position as a regional logistics and transportation hub.
Being established in November 1999 the ICD supports the economic development of its member countries through providing finance for private sector projects, promoting competition and entrepreneurship, providing advisory services to the governments and private companies and encouraging cross border investments.
The corporation launched its operations in Azerbaijan in 2003. With its headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the corporation provides funds for small and medium enterprises in the participant countries.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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