A joint meeting to support Azerbaijan’s newly established SME Agency and launch the third cycle of the OECD’s Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) Assessment will take place in Baku on 6 June, organised by the OECD in the framework of the EU-funded project ‘EU4Business: From Policies to Action’.
The meeting will bring together the Working Group of the project on ‘Supporting the implementation and monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME roadmap’ and the SBA Public-Private Working Group.
The objective of the meeting is twofold:
1. Discuss Azerbaijan’s newly established SME agency and its role of boosting SME development
Azerbaijan has adopted a set of strategic roadmaps to reignite the economy's growth and strengthen the development of its main economic sectors, including the SME sector. In light of the current economic situation and Azerbaijan's increased reform efforts to diversify the economy, the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan has requested the OECD’s assistance on the implementation and monitoring of its newly adopted SME roadmap.
As set out in the Strategic Roadmap for the production of consumer goods at the level of small and medium entrepreneurship, Azerbaijan has recently established an Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for members of the Working Group to discuss the role that the agency will play in implementing Azerbaijan’s SME Roadmap and providing services to SMEs. Based on international good practices, the OECD will discuss how a centralised agency can support SME development and public-private dialogue. An expert from Enterprise Georgia will share Georgia’s experience in establishing an SME support institution.
The meeting will be attended by the Ministry of Economy, Centre for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, representatives from the private sector, and other ministries and institutions contributing to SME development in Azerbaijan.
2. Launch of the third cycle of the SBA Assessment
The third cycle of the SBA assessment for the Eastern Partner Countries will start in September 2018. The assessment will build on the established methodology and process of previous assessment rounds, but has been revised to incorporate new elements aiming at broadening the scope of the publication to allow for an evaluation of the overall business climate conditions and to more accurately reflect private sector perspectives.
The Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) is an overarching framework for the EU policy on SMEs. It aims to improve the approach to entrepreneurship in Europe, simplify the regulatory and policy environment for SMEs, and remove the remaining barriers to their development.
This SBA Public-Private Working Group meeting will provide an opportunity for the government to present an overview of the progress achieved on implementing the recommendations provided in the last SBA assessment cycle (2015-16). It will also allow private sector representatives and key stakeholders to comment on recent developments and reform effectiveness. The OECD will present the updated methodology and framework for discussion, in preparation for the start of the assessment.