Public-private partnership boosts SME roadmap implementation

PESI Chairman Farid Malikov participated in the public-private working group meeting on supporting the implementation and monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME Roadmap in Baku December 7, 2017.

The main objective of the meeting was to kick-off the joint project between the OECD and the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan on the implementation and monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME roadmap.

The morning session focused on the implementation of the SME roadmap in the area of investment and trade. The session discussed how to identify policies that enable inward investment and create positive spill-overs for the local economy and Azerbaijan's SMEs. An OECD draft enterprise survey was presented that aims to provide evidence on the overall implementation of the SME roadmap with a focus on identifying linkages between Azerbaijan's SMEs and large companies. The session allowed the participants to discuss and provide feedback on the draft survey to be conducted among Azerbaijani SMEs and foreign investors.

The afternoon session dealt with the monitoring and evaluation of the SME roadmap as key aspect for an effective implementation. It allowed to discuss the current monitoring system and to identify remaining gaps. The session provided international good practice on the co-ordination of public and private stakeholders and how to collect and use required data for a successful monitoring assessment.

In overall, the meeting participants discussed the policies to support SME internationalization and increased access to foreign markets, and setting up a monitoring and evaluation framework for SME policies. The participants also emphasised the potential of Azerbaijan's agribusiness sector and reported on the successful creation of sectoral export associations.

The working group included the participation of senior officials from the Ministry of Economy and various ministries, state agencies as well as private sector associations, development partners, the EU and the OECD.

The working group meeting was organized as part of the project 'EU4Business: From Policies to Action,' implemented by the OECD across the Eastern Partnership and funded by the EU in the framework of the EU4Business initiative, geared to building capacity in Azerbaijan's institutions to implement and monitor the SME roadmap.

EU4Business works with the Azerbaijani government, associations and SMEs to develop the country's SME sector by improving access to finance and markets, encouraging women entrepreneurs and building business skills. The EU also supports the government in the development of a more coherent policy towards SMEs allowing the country to unleash the potential of SMEs for long-term socio-economic development.

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