Press Releases

IFC Survey Identifies Ways to Promote Small and Medium Business Development in Azerbaijan

In Baku:
Rasmina Gurbatova

Phone: +99412 497 89 81
In Moscow:

Nezhdana Bukova

Phone: +7 495 411 7555


Baku, Azerbaijan, July 1, 2009—An IFC survey found that further  business environment reforms  in Azerbaijan could  yield significant savings  to the business sector and the government alike and would attract new foreign and domestic investment  and generate  more jobs.

Conducted by the IFC Azerbaijan Business Enabling Project in early 2008, the survey examined the local business environment from the viewpoint of  small and medium enterprises and individual entrepreneurs.  A report on the survey’s findings said reforms in a number of specific areas such as licensing and permits, business inspections, taxation, access to finance, and foreign trade would boost  private sector growth in Azerbaijan.

Niyazi Safarov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, said the government will continue  to  cooperate with IFC in training local specialists to monitor the business enabling environment based on international methodologies, preventing interference with the development of entrepreneurship, and improving  state supervision of entrepreneur protections.

Aliya Azimova, IFC Country Officer for Azerbaijan, said the Azerbaijan government is moving quickly to improve the local business environment, and could do even more by targeting specific areas. “The development of the non-oil sector, growth of SMEs, and the attraction of investments could help the country’s economy remain sustainable despite the global economic crisis and ensure a stronger competitive position internationally,” she said.

IFC partnered with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs  and BP on behalf of its co-venturers to launch the Azerbaijan Business Enabling Environment Project in August 2008.  This five-year program is designed to support the government’s efforts to improve the business environment for entrepreneurs and ensure sustainable and diversified economic growth.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit