EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum: - new impetus to business relations and public-private dialogue (+PHOTO)

EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum: new impetus to business relations and public-private dialogue (+PHOTO)

Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy Mustafayev and EU Commissioner Hahn jointly opened
the fifth EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum. The annual event attracted a high turnout of over
800 participants, including government representatives and business leaders, who engage
in panel discussions and business-to-business meetings.
The joint opening underlined the significance of maintaining and further strengthening
bilateral economic and business relations. In his opening speech, Shahin Mustafayev,
Minister of Economy, expressed his appreciation for the Business Forum and organisers’
continuous effort in facilitating business relations between the EU and Azerbaijan. Touching
upon the latest updates on the government’s reform agenda, he stated:
The Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr Shahin Mustafayev noted that the
traditional Forum serves as a significant platform for discussing the prospects of economic
cooperation on a broader agenda and mutual trade and investment opportunities between
Azerbaijan and the European Union. Providing information about the economic situation in
Azerbaijan, Mr Mustafayev mentioned: “The process of economic sustainability and its
adaptation to the new conditions has continued since the previous Business Forum. As a
result of measures taken to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability, GDP and non-oil
GDP increased respectively by 3% and 1.7%, non-oil sector grew by 16.1%, and inflation was
2.1% in the first quarter of 2019.” Touching upon the strategic reforms implemented in
Azerbaijan, the minister pointed out that measures are being taken to improve the quality of
education and health system, to deepen reforms in the judicial-legal system and to constantly
improve the business and investment climate in the country.
Mr Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement
Negotiations, highlighted the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, stating that
"implementing reforms and delivering tangible benefits for citizens will remain a key priority
in the years to come". Referring to the joint work on improved connectivity, Commissioner
Hahn said: "If we look at the sectors of work covered by the EU Strategy [on Connecting
Europe and Asia], we can see that EU and Azerbaijan have been working on the different
sectors of connectivity – transport, energy, digital, and people to people – and should
continue to do so in a comprehensive way."
Project funded
by the European Union
Project funded
by the European Union
EU Business Climate Report
The EU Business Climate Report Azerbaijan 2019, funded by the European Union (EU) and
published by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK Azerbaijan), was launched
at the Business Forum and initiated discussions on the latest developments, opportunities
and challenges in Azerbaijan. The highlights of the report, shaped by the findings of an annual
business climate survey reflecting the views of EU companies operating in Azerbaijan on the
current economic situation, as well as the business and investment climate in the country,
were presented. The study underlines the significance of reinforcing and embarking on new
reforms in the tax and customs system, as well as in the education and financial sectors. It
also emphasises the need for strengthened public-private sector dialogue to raise awareness
among entrepreneurs and to ensure successful implementation of roadmaps.
Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Taxes, Ismayil Huseynov, Deputy Chairman of State Customs
Committee, Togrul Musayev, Deputy Minister of Justice and Idris Isayev, Deputy Minister of
Education took part in the discussions on the study and provided their valuable insights into
the report findings. They elaborated on ongoing reform measures to tackle the bottlenecks in
their respective sectors and expressed their support for strengthened public-private
Plenary Panel Discussion on the Business Climate
The Business Forum is underway with a plenary session on the business climate, attended by
Rufat Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy, Vusal Gasimli, Executive Director of Centre
for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, and high-level representatives from
EU and Azerbaijani public and private organisations.
Panel Discussions on Key Sectors
This year, the Business Forum integrates sector-specific panel discussions featuring
Agriculture, Connectivity (Transport, Logistics and ICT), and Tourism. The debates will focus
on latest economic developments, business opportunities and challenges in the respective
sectors, with an attendance of state officials from ministries and public institutions as well as
a variety of industry experts.
The annual EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum is a unique platform of discussion on the business
climate and investment opportunities on the ground. The event provides an excellent
opportunity for European and Azerbaijani companies to establish direct contact with credible
business partners and aims at further strengthening EU-Azerbaijan business relations. The
EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum is organised by the Delegation of the European Union to
Azerbaijan, in collaboration with the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK
Azerbaijan) and the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO).


Gunay Mirzayeva 

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