By Aygul Salmanova
Expansion of export opportunities for non-oil products in Azerbaijan and identification of new export markets are at the center of attention, Deputy Minister of Economy Sahil Babayev told Azernews.
Babayev noted that a number of measures are carried out in order to increase the volume of some “Made in Azerbaijan” products and access new foreign markets. He noted that some of these measures have already been completed, and some of them are still in progress.
“In accordance with the decrees and orders of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, exporters of a number of agricultural and processing products are paid an export promotion of 3-6 percent at the expense of the state budget,” he noted. “Also, various mechanisms are used to stimulate exports in international practice, in order to promote “Made in Azerbaijan” brand.”
Touching upon the activities carried out abroad, the deputy minister noted that 10 export missions to Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Hungary, China, Russia, UAE and Saudi Arabia were carried out at the expense of the state budget in 2017.
“Within the framework of missions preliminary agreements on the export of wine, fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, concentrated products, construction materials, furniture and other products were obtained and contracts were concluded.”
In accordance with the agreement reached in 2017, Turkey made a decision in order to facilitate exports of products (mainly agriculture) in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and export of some products to Turkey was exempted from import customs duties, Babayev noted.
He also added that negotiations were underway on the preferential trade agreement, which allowed exporting a number of agricultural (mostly fruits and vegetables) products to Turkey on favorable terms.
“In order to increase the flexibility of effectiveness and efficiency of business relations between economic entities in the application of measures, to stimulate the export and representation of the economic-trade interests of the country and domestic exporters abroad, to expand access of local products to foreign markets, Commercial representatives of Azerbaijan are appointed in Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Poland,” the deputy minister said.
Babayev also touched upon the Trade Houses established abroad.
“Azerbaijan Trade House was opened in Minsk, capital of the Republic of Belarus, to promote the promotion and sale of Azerbaijani products in export markets. In Ukraine, work is underway in this direction and it is planned to open a Trade House in Latvia.”
The deputy minister said that legal entities and individual entrepreneurs who had received an investment promotion document had been exempted from paying 50 percent of their profits and income tax for seven years after obtaining this document, and were free to pay property tax for their property and pay land tax for their respective land or possession.
“In addition, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs who have received investment promotion licenses may import technological equipment on the basis of a confirmation document of the Ministry of Economy for seven years without paying value added tax and customs duty,” he said.
Babayev also touched upon the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support noting that the institution provided concessional loans to the sector in order to meet the needs of economic entities operating in the country on favorable terms. “It should be noted that the share of agriculture in the total loans allocated by the Fund during the period of its activity was more than 90 percent,” he noted.
Azerbaijan has started promoting the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand in foreign markets since 2016, and already recorded about 36.5 percent growth in the exports in January-June 2017.
As of today, 92 trademarks of Azerbaijan are protected under the brand, while the country’s total outputs nears 250 kinds of products in food, light, heavy and construction industries. The brand is highly successful in regional and world markets, and Azerbaijan’s local output meets all the necessary standards.
Thanks to national export missions touring the world, Azerbaijani goods accessed major supermarkets and already see high demand.