On November 15, the 25th International Business Forum (IBF) started at the Baku Congress Center.
As part of the event, the forum participants visited the Alley of Martyrs to honor the memory of our heroes who died for the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
The forum, arranged by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA), the Association of Independent Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkey (MUSIAD), and the IBF with the support of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Turkey, was attended by officials, businessmen, representatives of international organizations, and the diplomatic corps from about 30 countries. The forum, held under the "Azerbaijan: pearl of Asia" slogan, is aimed at familiarizing foreign investors with the investment opportunities of Azerbaijan, including the rich potential of Karabakh liberated from the occupation, and expanding trade and economic ties and business cooperation between the member states.
According to the traditions of the International Business Forum, the event started with the recitation of ayats from the Holy Quran.
As part of the forum, films were demonstrated about the Azerbaijani-Turkish brotherhood and a favorable business and investment climate in our country.
Speaking at the opening of the event, the minister of economy of Azerbaijan Mikayil Jabbarov noted that the International Business Forum, held for the first time in our country, became a significant event in terms of familiarizing a wide audience of investors with the business and investment climate of Azerbaijan, developing ties between local and foreign investors, forming innovative initiatives, and creating ample opportunities for new projects. The minister of economy informed of the priority directions of the Azerbaijani economy and the measures taken to achieve the set goals.
Stressing that the development of the Azerbaijani economy and the stable macroeconomic situation play an important role in deciding on the implementation of business projects in our country, the minister of economy provided detailed information on economic indicators. It was noted that currently, Azerbaijan's strategic monetary reserve amounts to USD 52 billion and exceeds the amount of external debt by more than 6 times, and its ratio to GDP makes 108 %. In January-September this year, GDP grew by 4.8 %, while in the non-oil sector - by 6.2 %. The share of the non-oil sector in GDP made 64 %. Noting the special attention paid to the development of industry, the minister reported on the advanced tools and mechanisms such as industrial zones and investment promotion documents, applied in this area, and said that AZN 6.7 billion was planned to be and AZN 6.3 billion had already been invested in industrial zones. The minister noted that over the nine months of this year, non-oil exports have increased by 41 %, which is the highest figure for the entire monitoring history. The export of non-oil products increased 1.6 times. Industrial zones account for USD 320 million in industrial exports, which is twice as much as for the same period last year.
Stressing that Azerbaijan's favorable geographical position, great transit potential, modern infrastructure, and regional projects initiated and implemented with its participation are key factors in attracting direct foreign investment, the minister of economy called on investors for active cooperation.
At the business forum, it was noted that the liberation of our lands from occupation is of great historical, political, and economic importance. It was emphasized that for this historic victory, which made an important contribution to the unity of the Turkic peoples and led to the establishment of sustainable peace and stability in the region, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Victorious Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev was awarded the “Supreme Order of Turkic World” at the VIII Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States. It was noted that Karabakh has wide opportunities for regional integration, and the involvement of business entities from the MUSIAD member states in the reconstruction of this region will make an important contribution to trade and economic collaboration.
Deputy minister of treasury and finance of the Republic of Turkey Nureddin Nebati stressed the active participation of Turkish companies in projects to revive the liberated Azerbaijani lands, noted that this would be an important contribution to economic cooperation, intensifying business activity, and creating new enterprises and jobs, and shared his views on further expansion of cooperation and exchange of experience in other areas. According to N. Nebati, the goal of the mutual trade volume between Turkey and Azerbaijan at USD 15 billion will become an additional impetus for strengthening collaboration.
In their speeches, the president of the International Business Forum Erol Yarar, the president of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) of Azerbaijan Mammad Musayev, the chairman of the SMBDA Board Orkhan Mammadov, and the chairman of the MUSIAD Board Mahmut Asmali stressed the importance of holding the forum in Azerbaijan, which created conditions for building new partnerships and investment.
Then, a Joint Roadmap was signed between SMBDA and MUSIAD, a Protocol of Intentions in the field of the public-private partnership between the State Agency for Compulsory Health Insurance of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Istanbul Center for Best Practices in Public-Private Partnerships, and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Young Entrepreneur’s Networking Association and “Youth MUSIAD”.
As part of the forum, panels were arranged on the investment opportunities of Azerbaijan and the public-private partnership (PPP). At the panels, presentations were made on the favorable business and investment environment of Azerbaijan, the investment potential of our country, including Karabakh, the implementation of PPP projects, Turkey's experience in this area, the role of the PPP model in restoring the socio-economic infrastructure in the territories liberated from occupation, and an exhibition was arranged, which provided information on the products and services of local and foreign entrepreneurs,
As well as activities of agencies supporting entrepreneurs and investors in our country.
As part of the event, bilateral meetings of businessmen were also held.
Foreign businessmen and investors participating in the forum will also get acquainted with some production facilities and discuss the opportunities for cooperation with local entrepreneurs, and investment.
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