Azerbaijan changing approach to investment promotion (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted at 14:08)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 19

By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:

Azerbaijan is changing the approach to promoting attraction of local and foreign investments, Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijan's economy minister, said at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on economic policy, Jan. 19.

Mustafayev said according to the draft amendment to the Tax Code, which is being considered by the country's parliament, an investment promotion document will be given to entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan.

After getting this document, 50 percent of an individual entrepreneur's revenues and 50 percent of a legal entity's incomes will be exempt from income tax for seven years.

"The bill submitted to the parliament envisages the use of preferences for investment projects meeting three main criteria, namely, the investment volume, kind of activity and development of the country's districts," the minister said.

"First of all, preferences will be applied to the import of technological equipment and facilities, brought into the country by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs," he said. "Their import will be exempt from customs duty and VAT for seven years. The entrepreneurs will also be exempt from property tax and land tax for seven years from the date of getting the document."

The import, production and sale of wheat, wheat flour, and bread are free from taxation since Jan. 1.

Mustafayev also said that changes are planned to be made to the Customs Code of Azerbaijan.

"We have raised two questions," he said. "First of all, as part of the investment promotion, it is planned to exempt the equipment imported by the residents, who are represented in the industrial parks as businesses, from customs duties. We believe it is a very important step in terms of investment promotion. But it is also aimed at reducing the entrepreneurs' expenditures and will be an important tool for attracting investors."

He said another important issue is to promote the export of non-oil products, which contributes to the development of the non-oil sector of the economy.

"We are considering the promotion of export of non-oil products in several directions," he said. "First, a subsidy mechanism will be worked out in this area in accordance with the president's instructions. Azerbaijani national brands are also planned to be formed. It is also planned to promote the export development and involvement of the public sector in this process. Through these measures, we will be able to achieve the export promotion in the non-oil sector. This is important for the country and entrepreneurs."

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