Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO): Azerbaijan’s One Stop Shop for Incoming Investors
Azerbaijan’s economy has undergone a rapid transformation in the last decade, and AZPROMO has played a critical role in this. The investment agency tasked with both promoting Azerbaijan as an investment destination and helping local exporters gain a foothold in world markets, AZPROMO is working tirelessly to help this Caucasus nation reach its full potential.
Once heavily dependent on the energy sector, Azerbaijan is beginning to reap the benefits of economic diversification. At the time of AZPROMO’s establishment in 2003, Azerbaijan was attracting slightly more than 300 million USD annually in foreign direct investment in the non-oil sector. A decade later in 2013, foreign investments hit a whopping 5.3 billion USD and non-oil exports had increased by a factor of five. “Additionally, the number of foreign trading partners reached 150 world economies,” Rufat Mammadov, AZPROMO’s President explains. “These figures speak for themselves.”
Despite making such impressive strides, AZPROMO remains firmly focused on building on the gains of the past decade. “We plan to double our economy by 2020 and to reach the level of countries with high average income. We will continue our efforts of diversification, and forecast the average annual growth rate for our non-oil GDP to be at least 7% in the next 5 to 6 years,” Mammadov says.
These goals seem completely attainable when considered alongside Azerbaijan’s value proposition. The World Economic Forum ranked the country eighth in the world for macroeconomic stability, as well as 39th in terms of competiveness. “Our economy in the past 10 years has increased by over 3 times, in foreign trade by almost 7 times,” Mammadov points out. “The country alone offers over 75% of the regional economy of the South Caucasus. The strategic geographic location allows you in a radius up to 4 hours flight distance reach out more than 50 countries with almost 50% of the world consumers.”
For incoming investors, Azerbaijan offers not only political and economic stability and a favourable business climate, but also the assurance of a strong support system led by AzPROMO. “We ensure that foreign investors are well equipped with information on market opportunities, business climate and the relevant legal framework to make their investment decision,” Mammadov says.