A first public-private working group meeting on supporting the implementation and monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME Roadmap will take place on 7 December in Baku, as part of the project ‘EU4Business: From Policies to Action’, implemented by the OECD across the Eastern Partnership and funded by the EU in the framework of the EU4Business initiative.
A specific component on ‘supporting the implementation and monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME roadmap’ is implemented by the OECD as part of the project, in close co-operation with the EU.
Against a backdrop of falling oil prices, Azerbaijan has adopted a set of strategic roadmaps to reignite the economy's growth and strengthen the development of its main economic sectors, including the SME sector. In light of the economic situation and of Azerbaijan’s increased efforts to diversify the economy, the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan has requested the OECD’s assistance on the implementation and monitoring of its newly adopted SME roadmap.
The main aim of the project is to build capacity in Azerbaijan's institutions to implement and monitor the SME roadmap.
The working group will include the participation of senior officials from the Ministry of Economy and various ministries and state agencies, such as Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Azerbaijan Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, Azpromo, the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, as well as private sector associations, development partners, the EU and the OECD. It will focus on policies to support SME internationalisation and increased access to foreign markets, and setting up a monitoring and evaluation framework for SME policies.
The working group will be followed by a steering committee meeting to discuss the project scope and key project milestones leading to a peer review of Azerbaijan at the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Roundtable in December 2018.
EU4Business works with the Azerbaijani government, associations and SMEs to develop the country’s SME sector by improving access to finance and markets, encouraging women entrepreneurs and building business skills. The EU also supports the government in the development of a more coherent policy towards SMEs allowing the country to unleash the potential of SMEs for long-term socio-economic development.