Minister says COVID-19 has minimal impact on Azerbaijan’s economy
By Ayya Lmahamad
Despite the fact that Azerbaijan's economy is facing difficulties during the pandemic, the negative impact on the structure of the national economy is minimal, Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said at a press conference held on June 30.
He said that the ministry is working to improve the business environment, noting that since January 2019, reforms related to labor contracts have been carried out.
"As of January 1, 2019, 539,522 employment contracts were concluded, their number reached 751,705 by June 26, 2020. In other words, 210 thousand employment contracts were concluded in 18 months," he stated.
The minister added that three out of every four manats from taxes come from the private sector.
He also noted that the industrial parks are working on the presentation of a new generation investment project worth about $ 150-200 million.
"In recent years, the business environment in the country has been improving and the number of various interventions in it has been decreasing. We believe the country's economy will recover by the end of the year, and encouragement of entrepreneurs will continue. Today, we feel a great interest in the country's industrial parks and investment projects," the minister said.
Furthermore, he emphasized that the areas affected by the pandemic have been identified, and today there are a number of business projects managed by the ministry to provide financial support to reduce harm from the pandemic.
“A total of 130,000 entrepreneurs have received financial support during the pandemic, and 310,000 workers in the affected areas have been included,” Jabbarov added.
In addition, the minister stressed that the process of digitalization of the country’s economy should be supported in Azerbaijan.
He said that the ministry is considering different directions of national economy development in the post-pandemic period, and that several important projects are already being implemented in the country.
"For example, infrastructure in the Alat port creates conditions for transportation of new types of cargo from Central Asia. We are confident that the port's transit potential will expand in the future," he said.
Likewise, it was noted that the issue of amnesty for property and capital is being discussed at the working group level, as entrepreneurs are interested in this issue as well as international experience is currently being studied in this regard. Minister noted that the public will be informed about the results of this process.
Additionally, Jabbarov said that the Ministry of Economy is presenting a new platform for entrepreneurs, called “Electronic Credit Platform”, through which they will have the opportunity to apply to two banks for a soft loan for those affected by the pandemic, and will be able to take a loan of up to AZN 3 million ($1.7M). The loan has a 12-month grace period.
The minister said that with the creation of the platform, the opportunities for entrepreneurs to apply will become even easier.
It should be noted that this platform is designed to promote the development of the economy and macroeconomic stability of Azerbaijan in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers' order.
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