Washington D.C., March 19, 2003—“Investing
in Azerbaijan—Gateway to the Newly Independent
States,” is an international investors’ conference to be held from May
7 to 9, 2003 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Conference will explore investment
opportunities in the non-oil sectors of Azerbaijan - agribusiness, textiles,
manufacturing, infrastructure, financial services and oil-related products/services.
Speakers will discuss the country’s economic reforms over the past decade,
how those reforms are gradually improving the climate for business in Azerbaijan,
and investment experiences and opportunities in non-oil sectors of the
economy. Presentations will be made by high-level government officials,
key representatives of leading international financing institutions (such
as IBRD, EBRD and OPIC), local business people and international entrepreneurs
with experience investing in Azerbaijan.
The Conference will present a unique opportunity to meet with high-level
government representatives in charge of attracting investments to Azerbaijan.
Participants will be able to network with local entrepreneurs, and international
business people interested in Azerbaijan and the region in general, and
establish useful business links. They will also be able to tour factories
of foreign companies operating successfully in the country.
The Conference is being jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Development
(MED) of Azerbaijan, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the
World Bank Group, and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco)
of Switzerland. The Swiss Organization for Facilitating Investments
(SOFI) is the organizer of the Conference on behalf of the sponsors.
Speaking about the Conference, the Minister of Economic Development of
Azerbaijan, Mr. Farhad Aliyev, said: “Azerbaijan is an attractive investment
destination not just for the oil sector, but for other sectors as well.
The government is making serious and continuous efforts to open up the
economy and to establish a regulatory framework, which is favorable to
foreign investors. While challenges exist, we are actively pursuing
reforms to create a healthy business climate. We would like foreign
investors to join us and to explore together the opportunities, which Azerbaijan
has to offer. There is a lot more to Azerbaijan than just oil!”
Discussing his participation at the Conference, Mr. David Syz, State Secretary
of Switzerland noted: "Based on Switzerland's in-depth knowledge of
Azerbaijan, a country we represent in the Bretton Woods institutions, we
believe that there is significant potential for investment in the non-oil
sectors of the Azeri economy. Leading Swiss companies already operate in
Azerbaijan and we intend to further support and promote Swiss and international
investment in sectors other than oil. The conference is an important step
in bringing these investment opportunities to the attention of international
Mr. Khosrow Zamani, Director, Southern Europe and Central Asia at IFC said:
“IFC supports efforts made by the Azeri government to promote foreign
direct investment in the non-oil sectors given the importance of diversifying
the country’s economic and employment base to improve living standards
of people not linked to the oil sector. Recognizing that much still
remains to be accomplished, IFC will continue to help deepen economic reforms
in the country and develop a sustainable private sector by working closely
with the Government and other international institutions and businesses.
The Conference will be an opportunity for the participants to discover
Azerbaijan’s potential and a forum for discussions on steps that must
be taken by the Government to unleash the potential of the private sector
in reducing poverty in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people
For detailed information about the conference and to register, please visit
the conference website: www.invest-in-azerbaijan.com.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the private sector investment
arm of the World Bank Group. IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private
sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and
improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments
in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial
markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco) is the Swiss government
agency responsible for economic and labor questions. seco offers
its services in a variety of areas including world trade, economic integration
in the European Market, development cooperation with developing countries
and economies in transition, promotion activities to strengthen Switzerland's
international competitiveness as an economic center. It is also responsible
for Switzerland's economic relations with various countries and regions.