A delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), headed by Bruno Balvanera, director for the South Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, arrived in Baku.
Balvanera introduced Ivana Duarte, the new head of the bank’s Baku office, to the Azerbaijani government.
The EBRD delegation was received by Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani economy minister, as part of the visit.
During the meeting, the minister informed the guests about the ongoing large-scale reforms in Azerbaijan with the aim of further improving the business and investment sphere, and entrepreneurship development.
Mustafayev added that the support for the private sector remained one of the government’s priorities.
Mustafayev said that Azerbaijan was interested in increasing the transit traffic through its territory.
“For this purpose, the projects of developing the North-South and East-West transport corridors are being implemented”, he added.
The minister emphasized the Southern Gas Corridor project, the creation of a free trade zone in Azerbaijani Alat settlement by attracting a consulting company from the UAE.
The minister also stressed the importance of the EBRD’s support for business development and implementation of infrastructure projects.
Balvanera expressed appreciation and support for the reforms which were being carried out in Azerbaijan in the economic sphere, as well as in the area of developing entrepreneurship, customs, privatization and others.
Duarte said that the beginning of her activity in Azerbaijan coincided with the country’s major reforms in the economy and the intention to continue the activity towards the development of EBRD-Azerbaijan cooperation.
EBRD has allocated 2.5 billion euros to Azerbaijan for implementation of around 159 projects since 1992.
One of the main tasks of EBRD is to ensure a stable development of Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector by investing in the small and medium-sized private enterprises.
Azerbaijan is the largest recipient of EBRD funds in the South Caucasus, as well as one of the largest recipients of this organization’s funds in the CIS and Eastern Europe. (Trend/Business World Magazine)