The Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of small and medium entrepreneurship. The document was signed by the Chairman of the Agency Board Orkhan Mammadov and USAID mission director for Azerbaijan Jaidev Singh.
The US ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger attended the signing ceremony.
According to the document, the SMBDA and USAID will implement joint initiatives to create a more favorable and competitive business environment, support measures allowing local SMBs to increase productivity, income, and improve quality, diversify their markets, and strengthen resilience to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the framework of cooperation, the SMBDA and USAID will also focus on the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs operating in Azerbaijan, strengthening the potential of business associations, and implementing innovative business technologies in the country.
"The SMBDA attaches particular importance to studying best practices in the development of the local SMBs and cooperation with relevant organizations in this area. We believe that the Memorandum of Understanding signed with USAID will make a positive contribution to the development of business partnerships and the growth of SMBs, and further improving the support and services provided to SMBs," the chairman of the SMBDA Board Orkhan Mammadov said.
“Business partnerships and ties between the US and Azerbaijani companies are of great importance in terms of strengthening friendly relations and ensuring economic growth. We hope that this memorandum of understanding will lead to the establishment of business partnerships creating conditions for joint development," – the US ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger said.
“USAID believes that small and medium businesses play an exceptional role in poverty reduction, ensuring inclusive and sustainable economic development. Therefore, the role played by the SMBDA in fulfilling its mission of supporting small and medium enterprises and creating a favorable business environment for them is important. We intend to further strengthen our partnership,” the USAID mission director for Azerbaijan Jaidev Singh noted.
The event participants also discussed the prospects for cooperation between the Agency and USAID in the field of SMB, exchange of experience, and development of relations with the US structures operating in the field of SMB.
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