EU Business Climate Report Azerbaijan 2017

This report is based on the summary responses to the EU Business Environment Survey conducted by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (ACC Azerbaijan) in February-March 2017 with the support of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

EU Business Climate Report Azerbaijan-2017 displays the evolution of the business and investment climate in Azerbaijan as perceived by EU businesses within the one-year period between the first Business Climate Survey Azerbaijan conducted in early 2016 and the current one.

The current survey is based on a preliminary survey conducted in early 2016 and consists of 20 questions on the demographics of companies, the current economic situation in Azerbaijan, and the impact of the business environment in Azerbaijan on individual companies. This year, companies were also asked to assess the effectiveness of economic reforms implemented after the slowdown in economic development in 2015. After checking the quality of the data, 100 reliable and complete answers were collected in order to obtain a typical and statistically significant sample for the analysis of the views of EU companies operating in Azerbaijan on the business environment in the country. To investigate a possible relationship between the data, the findings were cross-analyzed and compared with the results obtained in the previous year.

The companies surveyed represent 16 sectors covering a wide range of activities, with the majority of respondents from Mining, Oil and Gas; Obtained from industries representing construction and professional, scientific and technical activities. 30% of all EU companies surveyed are represented by German companies operating in Azerbaijan, and 16% and 11% by companies from the United Kingdom and France, respectively. The companies participating in the survey also differ in size. For example, 38% of companies represent companies with a total revenue of less than € 500,000, and 7% represent companies with a revenue of more than € 50 million. It should also be noted that the majority of respondents were Directors / Chief Executive Officers (45%) and Managers (16%). In addition to the completed survey, face-to-face interviews were conducted with the CEOs and key representatives of 14 EU companies to verify the digital data collected.

The Key Survey Findings 2017:

  • While most of the “ad-hoc” measures implemented to date are positively assessed by EU businesses, carrying out the structural reforms agenda as set out in the Strategic Roadmaps remains imminent.
  • Top-rated 3 reforms to date:
    1. Launch of the ASAN Visa portal (77%);
    2. Licensing procedure through ASAN services (67%);
    3. Suspension of inspections related to entrepreneurial activities (49%).
  • Top 3 priorities to be achieved by the government:
    1. ─░ndicated to be Addressing structural shortfalls in the financial sector;
    2. Improving transparency in the tax system;
    3. Enhancing the legal environment.
  • Top-rated 3 positive trends:
    1. Customs procedures and regulations;
    2. Flexibility of immigration policies;
    3. Political and social stability. 

The survey findings highlight increased medium-term optimism about the economic situation in Azerbaijan among the EU businesses compared to 2016. Majority of respondents report a stable and an improving outlook for the economy and say they would again invest in Azerbaijan.

The most remarkable positive trend is reported in the customs system, whereas productivity of employees is the factor with the most noticeable negative shift compared to 2016.

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