BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 25
A working group created in Azerbaijan to prepare relevant proposals to assess the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the sharp fluctuations occurring on world energy markets and exchanges on the national economy, identify areas of economic activity that may be affected by the pandemic, and reduce the negative impact of situation on the country's business environment in the near future, held a meeting, Trend reports referring to the press service of the Ministry of Economy on March 25.
The meeting was held in the format of a video conference, the press service said.
The Head of the working group, Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, informed about urgent measures carried out under the president’s leadership to prevent a pandemic.
The state is ready to make flexible operational decisions, Jabbarov said.
The minister noted that in the current conditions, a number of the following factors affect Azerbaijan's national economy: the stagnation observed in global economy and foreign trade relations under the direct influence of the pandemic, sharp fluctuations in oil prices on world energy markets, as well as decrease in economic activity in countries due to limiting measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Jabbarov added that all these factors are more evident in a number of areas of economic activity.
The minister brought to the attention that in a short time the working group carried out intensive and comprehensive work to identify areas of activity that are more affected by the pandemic in the current situation, and areas that form economic growth and employment, to strengthen the country's economic and financial stability, clarification of directions for supporting measures to be taken by the state.
According to the minister, such areas as tourism, hotel business, public catering, transportation, trade, entertainment services and so on (totally, about 12 industries) were affected the most.
“The state is ready to make flexible operational decisions. Nevertheless, in order to accurately identify the affected areas of activity, first of all, criteria for a clear and transparent assessment should be prepared. These criteria can be superficial, as well as general and specific in subjects,” Jabbarov emphasized.
During a video conference various proposals were put forward.
In order to assess the damage caused, it is necessary to deeply analyze the reports of business entities and indicators available in state structures.
This will also be determined by analyzing the financial statements to be presented.
Currently, all structures of the Economy Ministry are holding meetings with business entities, representatives of medium and large businesses, public business associations and specialized associations.
When establishing supportive measures, the Azerbaijani government will give preference to legal entities and entrepreneurs that adequately respond to state calls, those who avoid cuts in jobs and reduce the wage, work transparently and demonstrate high social responsibility in the current circumstances.
Supporting the continuation of economic growth in the country will be a system of comprehensive measures in the following various areas: ensuring liquidity in the economy, providing tax breaks and vacations to entrepreneurs, simplifying access to public lending resources, maintaining the stability of financial markets, applying a system of targeted government orders and others.
In order to protect the health of the country’s citizens, and to ensure the safety of the population, the state will take such a compulsory step as reducing economic activity, which can lead to shrinkage of the economy in a short time.
The members of the working group were instructed to prepare proposals within 3 days on the methodology of a unified approach and relevant criteria for identifying areas that suffered damage.
The deputy ministers of the Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population; Ministry of Culture; Ministry of Energy; Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies; Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources; senior executives of the Food Safety Agency; State Agency for Tourism; State Customs Committee (SCC); State Statistical Committee; Central Bank (CBA) and central executive bodies and representatives of public associations of entrepreneurs are among the group’s members.