By Leman Mammadova
Support for the development of small and medium-sized businesses is one of the most remarkable contributions to the economic reforms carried out in the country.
Azerbaijani State Oil Company SOCAR and Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communications signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that envisages the creation of a digital portal to encourage domestic production.
The document was signed by the president of SOCAR, Rovnag Abdullayev, and the head of the center, Vusal Gasimli.
The main purpose of the memorandum is to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Azerbaijan through a new website. As part of the memorandum, SOCAR will post on the new website requests for goods, equipment and services needed by the company.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of signing, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said that SOCAR has decided to take part in supporting SMEs in Azerbaijan.
He recalled that the company participates in many social programs in Azerbaijan.
“Special attention is also paid in Azerbaijan to supporting the development of local production,” he said, stressing that supporting SMEs is one of the main directions of Azerbaijan’s policy.
In turn, Executive Director of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communications Vusal Gasimli said that the website dedicated to import substitution and supporting local production will start operating in Azerbaijan soon.
He said that the proposal to create such a website was received from SOCAR.
“We are very glad with such proposal and willingly agreed to support and participate in the website’s creation,” he noted.
Thanks to the website, representatives of SMEs will be able to participate in tenders that were previously available only for big companies. The website will be managed by the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communications.
Small and medium-sized businesses play an important role in development of the country's economy.
Development of small and medium-sized businesses leads to the growth of entrepreneurship which is one of the priority directions of Azerbaijan’s economic policy.
The Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Business of Azerbaijan was established in 2017 to ensure the consistency of reforms, as well as the improvement of the business regulation system and the application of effective coordination, enhancement of the role and competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses in the country's economy, and the compliance of the management system of this sphere with modern requirements.
The share of SMEs in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade is planned to increase to 40 percent after 2025.
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