Last week review (jan. 9-14)

Jan.9

Azerbaijan automates loan and grant issuing process

Smart Systems Technology Company completed the development of an electronic system of granting credits to the Agency for Agricultural Lending Department of Agriculture of Azerbaijan.

Software allowing automation to process the issue of loans with the facility to have control over these funds has been introduced in the department. The project covers about 40 structural regional agency units.

The Integrator studied the principle of agency work, procedures for the issuance of loans and other necessary details, which were required to automate the relevant activities.

The company also completed work on automating the process of issuing grants, beneficiaries of which are the countries' ministries. The project owner is the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan. The project provided the formation of the overall structure of the grants issuance, the forms of its web-based and logical database and the introduction of software to automate this process.

Jan.10

WB refuses to prolong second phase of agricultural program in Azerbaijan

The World Bank (WB) does not consider it necessary to prolong the second phase of the adapted program on agriculture development and lending in Azerbaijan. Implementation of the second phase of the adapted program will end in Feb.2012. Earlier its possible prolongation for 4 months until late June, 2012, was considered, but now it is not necessary. all goals envisaged by the project have been successfully achieved and funds allocated for its implementation are completely drawn. Under the implementation of the second phase of adapted program of agriculture development and lending, 46,000 small loans worth 62 million manat were allocated. This led to increase in investment volume in rural areas. Medium size enterprises in the agricultural business were allocated 110 investment loans worth $17 million. Also 74 grants were allocated to introduce and transfer advanced technologies under the second phase.

WB prepares concept of third phase of agricultural program in Azerbaijan

The World Bank (WB) and the Azerbaijani government are developing the concept of the third phase of adapted program of agricultural development and lending in the country. Development of the concept began within the second phase of the adapted program, implementation of which will be completed in February 2012. It is expected that preparation of the third phase will be completed in the coming months. This phase will pursue the same objectives and will be a logical continuation of the second phase by introducing several new directions. Under the implementation of the second phase of adapted program of agriculture development and lending, 46,000 small loans worth 62 million manat were allocated. This led to increase in investment volume in rural areas. Medium size enterprises in the agricultural business were allocated 110 investment loans worth $17 million. Also 74 grants were allocated to introduce and transfer advanced technologies under the second phase.

Azerbaijan ups oil transportation tariffs

The Tariff Council of Azerbaijan increased cost of oil transportation via oil pipelines up to 6 manat per ton (except export).

Earlier tariff amounted to 2.6 manat.

A new tariff, adopted based on the appeal of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), came into force from Jan.1, 2012.

The tariff increase is needed because the costs and investments in the pipeline system need to be aligned with these tariffs, in connection with the Baku-Novorossiisk oil pipeline transfer to the SOCAR office.

Rise in prices of gasoline and diesel fuel prices in connection with tariff increase for oil transportation is not expected.

Internet kiosks to appear in Azerbaijan post office regional offices

International non-commercial organisation IREX began to install Internet kiosks in some regions of Azerbaijan.

Mr Mammadli noted the project is being carried out with the assistance of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan and postal operator Ltd Azerpoct.

The devices will be installed in Azerpoct post offices and the areas where they will be installed have already been identified. This work on the project is being carried out using a grant from USAID and is scheduled for completion in the next month.

As for the full cost of the project, it will be known after the supplier of the devices has made an announcement. The necessary software solutions are purchased and the Internet access devices are provided. The cost of Internet kiosks are in the range of $2.5-$4 thousand.

Under the project, Internet kiosks will be installed in 30 post offices of Azerpoct, located in district centres and in villages and towns, mainly in areas with a large population and required infrastructure.

The main purpose of the installation of Internet kiosks in areas of the country is to provide people with access to information so that people can make online payments, apply electronically to public bodies to submit applications and make complaints on existing problems.

Jan.11

SOFAZ signs contract to construct new office

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) signed a contract with the Belgian company NV Besix SA to construct a new Class A office.

The contract worth 84.916 million euros was concluded on December 20 last year in accordance with the Azerbaijani legislation.

NV BESIX S.A. was established in Belgium in 1909. It is a subsidiary of BESIX Group.

BESIX Group has implemented several major projects in Europe, North and Central Africa and Asia. At present, it operates on three continents in 15 countries. The number of employees hit about 17,000 people.

Jan.12

Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan establish single Islamic bank in CIS

The International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) and the Russian bank VTB plan to involve a Kazakh leading bank to establish a single Islamic bank in the CIS. The discussions were held at the Fourth Baku International Banking Conference of the CIS member-states in early December 2011. The IBA was chosen as a platform and a regional center for the development of Islamic financing in the CIS countries. At present, the work is underway in this direction. It is on stage of correspondence. According to the existing agreement between VTB and IBA, the Russian bank will use the experience of Azerbaijani specialists and consultants in the field of Islamic Banking but the Azerbaijani bank - the experience of VTB. it was proposed to establish a common working group under the CIS Financial and Banking Council. It will analyze the banking system and banking legislation in the CIS countries and submit the relevant proposals regarding the necessary changes to the Financial and Banking Council.

First positive results obtained in use of bio-nanotechnology in Azerbaijan

Scientists of Research Centre for High Technology of Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan carry out research on developing the methods for delivering drugs to the infected cells using bio-nanotechnology.

The main purpose of the research is the prevention and treatment of cancer, which is one of the major causes of death worldwide.

The advantage of the method of targeted delivery is that the drug is delivered directly into the affected cell, without affecting the healthy cells.

The center have bought porphyrin nanotubes and required laboratory samples for the researches.

The center carries out researches on characteristics and features of the targeted delivery of drags to the infected cells. The positive results in this direction have been achieved.

Azerbaijani Academy of sciences develops biometric identification system

Institute of information technology (IIT) of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (NASA) has developed system of biometric identification of face parameters based on photo.

Preparation of system where two-dimensional identification system is used has been carried out for 4 years and software has been successfully tested in the Institute.

Each person has about 20 unique face anthropometric parameters that make it possible to identify a person. It is possible to use this product primarily in criminalistics, at customs stations or for example during identification of unidentified dead body. For a person identification it is necessary only to enter onto system photo of wanted. If there is no photo of this person in the database the system will give information on around 5 people similar to the wanted.

The Institute has also developed scientific methods for more accelerated search of wanted people in database.

Search for a person in database, which includes millions of photos, may take several hours but this is not reasonable for custom stations where information on those who arrive in the country should be given as soon as possible.

The system is completely ready for operation and may be used by the Azerbaijani law enforcement authorities.

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