Reform program in Azerbaijan constantly expanding

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has completed the implementation of a project of advisory services on the financial infrastructure of Azerbaijan.

The Vice President of Economics and Private Sector Development at IFC Hans Peter Lankes spoke on Sept. 25 about the work done in Azerbaijan, Trend reports from the final conference of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as part of the Azerbaijan and Central Asia Financial Infrastructure Development Project (ACAFI).

According to him, access to financing is one of the key obstacles for the development of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which is why the IFC, with the generous support of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), launched a project of advisory services on the financial infrastructure of Azerbaijan in 2009.

The goal of the project, which was developed in 3 stages, is to change the rules of the game for small businesses in the economy, advising the Azerbaijani government on ways to increase lending to small firms and stimulate economic growth.

According to Lankes, the first step was to recognize the need for reform, and the second step necessitated to work directly with the private sector in order to understand what should be focused on, while the third step aimed at creating institutions.

With the support of the corporation, Azerbaijan carried out 8 reforms that helped the country enter the list of the largest economies in the world, which showed the greatest improvement in performance in the latest report of the World Bank’s Doing Business group, which examines the business climate in 190 countries. In the Doing Business report, this was noted as the largest number of reforms in a particular country.

“This is an exciting event, but this is only the tip of the iceberg, as the reform program is constantly growing and covers a significant share of the private sector, including small business,” the IFC representative said.