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In the News

Azerbaijan among top 20 countries for starting business

Azernews.az

October 30, 2014

By Aynur Jafarova

Azerbaijan, an energy-rich South Caucasus country with favorable conditions for doing business, has entered the list of top 20 countries in terms of preparing the ground for starting a business.

According to the annual ranking of Doing Business-2015 prepared by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation and released on October 29, Azerbaijan took the 12th place among the 189 world countries, leaving behind such countries as China (128th), Austria (101st), Belgium (14th), Brazil (167th), Croatia (88th), Czech Republic (110th), and others.

"Azerbaijan has made the process of starting business easier by reducing the time to obtain an electronic signature for online registration of the tax accounting," the report said.

Azerbaijan is also among the top 10 countries in terms of the greatest number of reforms carried out in the country. The country has implemented reforms in the fields of starting business, registration of property and payment of taxes.

Compared with last year's results, Azerbaijan achieved the greatest success on such subheadings as the payment of taxes (33rd versus 77th a year ago), dealing with construction permits (150th against 180th) and connection to the electricity system (159th against 181st).

"Azerbaijan has simplified the transfer of immovable property to the ownership by introducing an electronic system for help on charge," the report said. "In addition, the country has simplified payment of taxes for companies by introducing an electronic system of registration and payment of social insurance contributions."

In general, Azerbaijan is ranked 80th in the Doing Business-2015 report.

Azerbaijan's ranking consists of the following indices: establishing enterprise business - 12th, tax payment - 33rd, international trade - 166th, registration of ownership - 10th, obtaining construction permits - 150th, lending - 104th, insolvency settlement - 94th, contract enforcement - 31st, protection of investors' rights - 51st, connection to the power supply system - 159th.

Singapore is at the top of world ranking on creating the most favorable conditions for business. The top ten countries include New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, Korea, Norway, US, Great Britain, Finland, Australia.

Among the post-Soviet countries Georgia (15th), was followed by Estonia (17th), Latvia (23rd), Lithuania (24th), Belarus (57th), Russia (62nd), Moldova (63rd) and Kazakhstan (77th) keep leading positions. Azerbaijan is followed by Ukraine (96th), Kyrgyzstan (102nd), Uzbekistan (141st) and Tajikistan (166th).

Azerbaijan's all macroeconomic indicators favor the profitability of doing business in the country. In recent years, the non-oil industry in Azerbaijan has developed rapidly. GDP has increased by 16 times over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, the average salary of the nation has increased by twenty-fold over the last 20 years.

The business activities are very successful in the country due to the growth of incomes of population.

The taxation of business in Azerbaijan enjoys more favorable conditions than in Europe. The highest income tax rate of the country is below twice the European average.

Also, all legislative and practical conditions have already been created for the development of business in Azerbaijan.

As a result of the implementation of various reforms on regulations and the improvement of legislation in the area of improving the business climate, Azerbaijan's economy has improved its position in the world's leading economic reports and now it is among the advanced countries.

The analytical report prepared by Euromonitor International released on October 28 said Azerbaijan is in the list of top 5 countries in the world in terms of growth in annual disposable income in 2014.

The report noted in the face of a slowing oil industry, the non-oil sector has become the main growth engine and employment generator in Azerbaijan, underpinning the country's income growth.

"Closely behind in the third place is Azerbaijan with total annual real disposable income forecast to grow by 11.5 percent year-on-year and per household annual disposable income to grow by 10 percent year-on-year in 2014," the report noted.

The experts of Euromonitor International forecast that education will be the strongest performing consumer expenditure category in 2014 in Azerbaijan, soaring by 18 percent year-on-year in real terms, on the back of a buoyant adult education sector.

Besides Azerbaijan, the list of top 5 countries with fastest growth in annual disposable income in 2014 includes Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and China.

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