Azerbaijan Business Forum Held in Baku on the Occasion of the BSTDB Annual Meeting

Date:  21-Jun-2013
Venue:  BakuAzerbaijan

On the occasion of the 15th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) held an Azerbaijan Business Forum in Baku on June 21, 2013. 


The Forum, inaugurated by the Minister of Finance of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Board of Governors of BSTDB, Mr. Samir Sharifov gathered policy makers, representatives of the international development community, investors and businessmen from the Black Sea region. 


The Forum's round table discussion focused on economic diversification and policy challenges faced by Azerbaijan and countries across the Black Sea region.


Finance Minister Sharifov presented the economic reform agenda of Azerbaijan and highlighted the country's investment opportunities.  Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Sevinj Hasanova, introduced the Government's development strategy and approach to economic diversification.


Based on those policy presentations, Financial Institutions, including BSTDB, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Nordic Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey exchanged views and experiences and suggested good practices and policy recommendations.


Sound macroeconomic management and regulatory reform are essential for creating an enabling environment that fosters innovation and the development of genuine competitive advantages for new businesses and SMEs.  A sustainable financial sector, stimulating equity investment, providing affordable credit and adequate provisioning of risk capital was highlighted as a fundamental pillar to diversification, while provision of education health and social protection are essential  "building blocks" in the diversification process of Azerbaijan and countries across the region.


The Forum also devoted follow up sessions to regional business matchmaking and investment and trade promotion, organized jointly with the Azerbaijani investment and export promotion agency Azpromo and the Black Sea Trade and Investment program of UNDP, supported by BSTDB and the BSEC Business Council. Business meetings took place between the over 100 companies present from across the region and local and regional banks and international financial institutions.


At the margins of the Forum, BSTDB signed four loan agreements with Azerbaijani financial institutions to the  total amount of USD 34 million aimed at providing financing to micro, small and medium sized businesses in Azerbaijan.