ICD interested in rendering consulting services for free trade zone in Azerbaijan

Economy Materials 27 May 2016 17:15 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 27

By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is interested in rendering consulting services within the framework of a free trade zone type special economic area being created in Baku, a source in Azerbaijan's financial market told Trend May 27.

A delegation headed by Khaled Al-Aboodi, ICD director general, will visit Azerbaijan May 31 with this purpose, according to the source.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on March 17, 2016, on measures to create a free trade zone type special economic area in the Alat township of Baku's Garadagh district. The zone will include the territory of the new Baku International Sea Trade Port, which the ICD delegation is going to visit.

The free trade zone envisages the development of transportation and logistics industry, the pharmaceutical cluster, common database of oil supply facilities, as well as the areas of manufacturing, packaging, labeling and consolidation.

The new Baku port is located at a strategic crossroad of Europe and Asia and close to major markets such as China, Turkey, Iran and Russia, and is ready to become Eurasia's leading trade and logistics center.

The source added that during the visit it is planned to hold meetings with Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev and Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov.

"The issues the sides will review and discuss will include the possibility of using the 'Sukuk' [bonds structured to comply to Islamic law by not paying interest] and other Islamic financial instruments to draw additional funds to Azerbaijan's economy, allocation of resources by the ICD for strategic projects, which are priority for the country," said the source.

The sides will also discuss Azerbaijan's participation in regional funds established by the Islamic corporation, including the ICD Food and Agribusiness Fund, the source said.

The fund will begin its activity by late 2016 and finance the food chain and value chain in such areas as the production of the resources necessary for agriculture (for example, various chemicals and fertilizers), infrastructure, services, trade, logistics and others.

The fund will mainly focus on the production optimization of the companies working in the field of agriculture and a decrease in their logistics inefficiency.

The ICD has been operating in Azerbaijan since 2003. ICD finances mainly small and medium enterprises in the country. The corporation is the founder of Ansar Leasing and co-founder of the Caspian International Investment Company.

The ICD is a multilateral development financial institution and is part of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group.

ICD was established in November 1999 to finance the private sector of the member-states.