Azerbaijan remains at one of leading positions in doing business in region: author of Doing Business- 2010 report

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.10. / Trend N.Ismayilova /

Azerbaijan remains in one of the leading positions on doing business in the Eastern Europe and the Central Asia region, said Svetlana Bagaudinova, Private Sector Development Specialist of International Finance Cooperation, author of the report "Doing Business 2010: Reformers in difficult times" at the videoconference in Baku on sept.10.

Azerbaijan has ranked 38th in the ranking of favorable conditions for entrepreneurial activity according to the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC)'s "Doing Business 2010 Reformers in difficult times" joint report, the IFC Baku office said. According to the latest report, Azerbaijan held effective reforms in 2008-2009, in areas such as getting of loans and in international trade.

Azerbaijan hit 15 in "getting of loans", which is considered quite significant and positive result, Bagaudinova said.

"The country has reduced the time, required to carry out foreign trade operations through introducing the "single window" principle at customs checkpoints," Bagaudinova said. "This reform is sufficiently long-term. The government has conducted the work on the reform three or four years ago and today the implementation of "single window" and the computerization of customs checkpoints have finished.

According to Bagaudinova, as a result of simplification of procedures concerning the  foreign trade operations, the time spent on the implementation of import operations decreased from 56 to 50 days, export - from 48 to 46 days, and the value of exports (per container), from $3, 075 to $2,980. The author believes the country's rating in "trade across the border" can be significantly improved. Although the position on this indicator is not so high, dynamics is a very important factor.

"At present, those reforms that were implemented a few years ago, have given concrete results, that is, we hope that these reforms will continue, to create more favorable conditions for the Azerbaijani businessmen, engaged in the international trade," Bagaudinova added.

Bagaudinova believes the procedure for receiving building permits is the most problematic area for Azerbaijan, and this is the figure, which pulls down Azerbaijan. Significant reforms have not been fixed in this area.

"The Doing Business project studies not only the legislative base, but also its practical applications. As soon as the country enters the TOP-50, then to rise above this rating becomes more difficult," Bagaudinova added.

Azerbaijan ranked 11th in "launching business" in 2008 but ranked 17th in the new report. Azerbaijan ranked 33rd in "employment" but earlier had ranked 62nd. Azerbaijan ranked 9th in "property registration" in 2009 as it was in 2008. Azerbaijan ranked 15th in "receiving loans", but it ranked earlier 12th. Azerbaijan ranked 20th in "protection of interest rights", while earlier it ranked 19th.

The country's rating in "getting permits for building" dropped from 155th to 158th, "payment of taxes"- from 103rd to 108th, "foreign trade"-from 176th to 177th, "ensure of contract's implementation"- from 25th to 26th and "closed enterprises"- remained at 84th.

The study involved 183 countries. As two countries (Cyprus and Kosovo) also entered the list, the ratings of all countries for 2009 were revised and adjusted taking into the account the changes, made in methodology that is the new indicators - "employment" and" social protection". As a result, Azerbaijan's position moved from 33rd to 38th, retaining this position in the report for 2010.

Among the CIS countries, Georgia ranked 11th, Kyrgyzstan 41st, Armenia 43rd, Belarus 58th, Kazakhstan 63rd and Russia 120th. Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Belarus, UAE, Canada, Colombia, Tajikistan, Egypt and Liberia are leading counties in the ranking. Last year, the leader in this list was Azerbaijan.

The "Doing Business" report has been published since 2004, adding to the list of criteria annually. The country's rating is made according to this list. There were five criteria in 2004. In the last report research was held in 10 areas: launching business, permission for construction, job admission and dismissal, property registration, receiving loans, protecting investors' interests, payment of taxes, registration of export-import operations, fulfillment of contracts and closing of business.

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