Regional entrepreneurs complain of obstacles they are facing in obtaining loans from the National Fund for the Support of Entrepreneurship (NFSE) вЂ" the structure in charge of allocation of budgetary funds for small- and medium-size business development.
The complaints have been sounded during an ongoing visit to southern regions by Minister for Economic Development Farhad Aliyev. One of the regional businessmen accused Atabank вЂ" a major agency mediating in the allocation of NFSE funds to small- and medium-size businesses вЂ" of putting obstacles in the implementation of lending procedures. The businessman said that despite the proper preparation of the required documentation, including a business plan, the bank has been reluctant to arrange lending for him. Another businessman requested the Ministry of Economic Development for the extension of the term of lending. He said that the maximum term, set at seven years, is not enough to successfully implement projects related to capital-intensive activities, like tea-growing, where the period of cost recovery is much longer.
However, no response followed from the entrepreneurs after the minister raised the question concerning blackmail and bribery requests in respect of the lending of NFSE funds.
For his part, the minister agreed to a proposal by an entrepreneur on the introduction tax incentives for less developed region. He said that in the past
Farhad Aliyev visited Kivi and Vita businesses in the district of Lankaran, where the ministry held a business forum with local entrepreneurs and assisted in the holding of a credit fair.
He also admitted to widespread unemployment and poverty in the country, which demonstrates one of the highest rates of economic growth on an international scale. The minister expressed hopes for the positive effect of the measures aimed at tackling the above issues through the support by the State.
The trip was also joined by a delegation of French businessmen, interested in investing in
Michel Jelenin, an envoy for economic issues at the French Embassy in