(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 19. The first surge
in the growth of startup projects in Azerbaijan began in 2013,
Advisor to the head of the Agency for Innovation and Digital
Development under the Ministry of Digital Development and
Transportation of Azerbaijan Agahuseyn Ahmadov told Trend.
According to him, during this period active measures were taken
to develop and support startup projects.
“The relevant reforms were carried out at the legislative level
starting from 2018. In turn, Agency for Innovation and Digital
Development of Azerbaijan set a course to create the necessary
infrastructure and develop ways to support this ecosystem. Agency's
support for the startup environment consists of financial,
technical and technological, infrastructural, legislative support,
transfer of knowledge and expertise, as well as of establishing
relations between startups and relevant structures,' Ahmadov
'The support is aimed at developing cooperation between
participants in startup ecosystem as well as creating new products
and services. Other priority direction of agencies activities is
development of human resources, i.e. IT specialists. This is
necessary for the long term development of startup ecosystem of
Azerbaijan. For example, the agency supported the training of 800
students in the field of information technology and this number is
planned to be increased up to 2,000 in 2023. The agency believes
that the more people are attracted to the IT sector, the better is
the potential of these students to find workplaces and create new
innovative companies, ' he stated.
'According to preliminary data, over the past two to three
years, about $1 million have been invested in startups in
Azerbaijan annually. The agency continues to actively negotiate on
attracting potential investors to the country,' the advisor
Ahmadov pointed out that Azerbaijan is working to create a
system of benefits and privileges for local IT companies.
“There are few factors that make Azerbaijani startups register
their companies in foreign jurisdictions. First of all, this comes
from the totality of benefits and privileges provided by a
particular country. Companies that are registered in the US state
of Delaware, or in the Cayman Islands and Singapore are more likely
to attract American and European investments. If the case of
registering a company in Azerbaijan is considered, the organization
will first develop in the local market, and if successful, will aim
to enter international markets. Accordingly, in order to enter, for
example, the US market and attract US investments, it's necessary
that the company be registered in jurisdictions familiar to these
investors. Based on all this, in Azerbaijan, Innovation Agency,
together with other government agencies, is working to create a
system of benefits and privileges for local IT companies and even
more favorable environment for foreign investors,' he stressed.
'On the other hand, a start-up project leaving the country where
it was created may be due to the fact that the project cannot
develop further, since it has already completely covered this
market. Of course, Azerbaijan is also working in this direction of
analyzing the market, tools for creating demand for technologies,
for example, in aerospace, oil and gas, financial and other areas.
It's planned to create the very elements and conditions that will
lead to an increase in the number of registration of IT companies
and foreign direct investment in Azerbaijan,' the Ahmadov said.
'The development strategy of Azerbaijan until 2026 provides for
the development of the IT infrastructure of the country.
Azerbaijani agency together with other government agencies is
carrying out relevant work in this direction. In particular, work
is underway to train IT, specialists, invest in projects and
support this ecosystem. In addition, activities are being carried
out to attract international experience and expertise to
Azerbaijan. Conditions are also being created for the relocation of
foreign companies to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will be an attractive
country for relocation and substantiation of foreign companies and
specialists in this field in the country,' he added.
Ahmadov also reminded a venture fund is expected to be launched
in Azerbaijan in the fall of 2022.
'The project is almost completed and its launch is expected in
the near future. The participants of the venture fund are Agency
for Innovation and Digital Development, PASHA Holding and several
private investors,' Ahmadov concluded.
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