Baku, Azerbaijan, June 5
By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:
Resident companies of the EU named five most important reforms necessary for Azerbaijan, reads the EU Business Climate Report on Azerbaijan.
European companies as a whole positively assess measures to improve the business climate in the country, according to the report.
Unlike the previous two years, European companies more positively assess the situation in Azerbaijan’s economy in 2018, reads the report.
Despite the measures implemented to ensure stability of Azerbaijan’s financial sector, structural problems and shortcomings still exist, according to the report.
On the other hand, gradual increase in infrastructure costs, along with the simplification of the procedures for issuing construction permits, restores confidence in Azerbaijan’s construction sector that has been under pressure since 2015, reads the report.
In accordance with the report and surveys by leading EU companies, there is a need for new and long-lasting reforms in the tax and customs systems, as well as in the rule of law and education.
European companies positively assess the taxation sphere, which they called the most problematic in last year’s report, following structural changes and a prepared package of amendments to the Tax Code.
As for the customs system, the positive trend that has emerged after the introduction of e-customs declarations is gradually declining due to the suspension of reforms this year, the report says. The companies note the need to continue such reforms, according to the report.
Twenty percent of the respondents mentioned the priority importance of further increasing transparency in the tax system, and 17 percent noted the increase of transparency in the customs sphere.
Twelve percent of the respondents spoke in favor of ensuring transparency in the legal system and ensuring compliance of the system of academic and professional education in Azerbaijan with the requirements of companies. Another 11 percent of the respondents supported the need to encourage e-management in order to minimize the facts of petty corruption and reduce bureaucracy.
The respondents also noted the need to simplify the procedures for obtaining work and residence permits for foreign entrepreneurs and investors (9 percent), strengthening the transparency and stability of the financial sector (7 percent), ensuring transparency in public procurement (7 percent), completing Azerbaijan’s accession to the WTO (3 percent) and other reforms (0.27 percent).
The report was prepared by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce with the support of the EU representation in Azerbaijan on the basis of a survey conducted February 9-March 16, 2018 among almost 400 companies from 27 EU member states. During this period, 149 complete responses were received, 131 of which were recognized as totally correct.
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