American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AmCham) has presented the sixth edition of the “White Paper”, entitled “Observations and recommendations on the improvement of the business environment in Azerbaijan”.
The document prepared and submitted to the Azerbaijani Government every two years aims at supporting different sectors of the economy, Trend reported with reference to AmCham.
The White Paper reflects collective view of AmCham members on changes ensuring strength of business environment and ultimately, the country. This document consists of two parts – “Overview” part which is very significant, as of its content covering the most influential issues for Azerbaijan and “Second”, which involves recommendations on more specific issues in detail.
“It’s important to inform the Government about vision of private sector and changes in business environment,” noted Natavan Mammadova, Executive Director of AmCham in Azerbaijan. “Taking this into account, the publication of White Paper this year covered positive measures taken by the government to strengthen various sectors of economy, and issues to be solved in different fields to develop the business environment in taxes, customs work, finance and insurance, information technologies, labor and migration issues, tourism and law court.”
“Furthermore, we think that business community is of a great importance in implementation of the economic reforms and founding healthy business environment,” she added. “Considering these factors, we have addressed some recommendations to Azerbaijan’s business community for the first time within White Paper.”
All the recommendations provided by AmCham are focused on making activities of different institutions more transparent, increasing the level of services provided to population, and ultimately, making Azerbaijan more powerful country in the region.
Particularly, AmCham offered the country’s government to explore the possibilities for tax exemption in the priority areas of the non-oil sector.
AmCham members also proposed to consider application of a new tax regime in the priority areas of the non-oil sector.
“It should be acknowledged that Azerbaijan’s proven experience in attracting foreign investments is mainly limited to the oil and gas sector. We believe that other areas of industry and business should be introduced with concessions or be exempt from taxes, given the current economic situation and the targets for the non-oil sector development,” the paper says.
For this purpose, advanced experience of other developing countries should be studied, according to the AmCham representatives.
The Chamber also offers to introduce voluntary social insurance system in the country.
AmCham members offer to establish the regulatory, legal and administrative framework for the establishment of non-state pension funds.
“The legislation to be adopted in this field should stipulate the mechanisms of accumulating the voluntary social insurance contributions, accounting for these funds and revenues from their investments in the individual accounts, requirements on asset managers, investing rules, establishment of non-state pension funds and organization of their activities, formation of adequate mechanisms in these institutions ensuring to fulfill the liabilities, appointment, payment of non-state pensions, main directions of state regulation in this area and other issues,” the document said.
AmCham has been working in Azerbaijan since 1996 and currently consists of 270 companies representing more than 80% of foreign investments in the country and currently serving as a bridge between the Government and private sector and having continuous constructive and results oriented dialogue with relevant government bodies, Chamber promotes the business interests of the member companies, contributes to the improvement of the business climate in Azerbaijan.
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