25th place among 190 countries in Doing Business-2019 to boost investment flow to Azerbaijan
Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication has prepared the next report on the Doing Business-2020 reform, which provides detailed information on the 11 reforms. The report notes that tax and customs reforms have been continued in the country in order to increase the business climate, as well as significant reforms have been made in the online single export application, green corridor, electronic court, "One window” in construction, starting a business, access to electricity, access to loans, contract execution, and property registration areas.
The report states that in the Doing Business-2019 report of the World Bank, Azerbaijan ranks 32 among 190 countries ranging from 57th to 25th place (including ranging from 18th to 9th place for business starts, from 161th to 61th place for construction permits, from 102st to 74th place for connection to power supply networks, from 21st to 17th place for property registrations, from 122th to 22nd place for taking loans, from 10th to 2nd place for the protection of the interests of small investors, from 35th to 28th place for tax payments and from 47th to 45th place for the solution of bankruptcy).
So, what is the point of our position rise in such a report? What should be done to further improve our position?
According to Fikret Yusifov, head of the Economics International Economic Research Center, Azerbaijan is now recognized as a leading reformist country in the world, and its successes as a result of economic reforms over the past few years are seen and appreciated by those far from our country. "There are also those who do not want to see these good results. But the reality is quite different and we do not dictate those realities. They are prepared by professionals from influential international organizations that have a closer connection with Azerbaijan and see the reforms in our country. At present, there is no area in the country, which is beyond the scope of these reforms. The most recent objective assessment of reforms in Azerbaijan is the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 report. The fact that as a result of the reforms carried out, Azerbaijan has ranked 25 in the World Bank's annual report is broadly discussed in mass media. It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan is ranked the highest among the CIS countries. Reforms carried out in our country - especially after the declaration of the post-oil era in the country since the end of 2015 - were aimed at ensuring the rapid development of the real sector of the economy. One of the first to support the rapid economic reform strategy set by the government of Azerbaijan after the sharp decline in oil prices was the World Bank's leadership. At the initial stage of the reforms, they have stated that these steps of the Azerbaijani government would serve as an example to other oil countries and that they will be close supporters of our country in this direction. As it is known, the World Bank is the most influential international financial institution and its reports can not be compared with other organizations' opinions. The fact that Azerbaijan has been mentioned as the most reformist country in this report is a serious signal for any party receiving information on the international scene and is a very reputable answer to those who want to blacken the successes of Azerbaijan. This shows that Azerbaijan has properly defined its economic strategy and is confidently leading it forward. The new economic reform strategy, defined by President Ilham Aliyev, who declared the post-oil era 3 years ago, is the best choice. The results are obvious. The fact that Azerbaijan is on the 25th place after Germany and has left behind some of the developed countries in the official report of the most authoritative financial institution, the members of which are almost all countries of the world, is very prominent. Kazakhstan ranked 28th, Russia 31st, Belarus 37th, Armenia 41st, Moldova 47th, Kyrgyzstan 70th, Ukraine 71th and Uzbekistan ranked 76th in this report. Azerbaijan is at the forefront among the CIS countries as one of the the top ten reformer countries in the 2017-2018 period. This report is the most worthy and, most importantly, most objective assessment of economic reforms in our country. It is the most consistent answer to the rating agencies, which have previously approached the economic reforms in Azerbaijan through prism of double standards. The World Bank compiles its reports on the basis of the information collected and analyzed by experts from the bank. The report also highlights the reforms implemented in the banking system of our country. Thus, Azerbaijan has been ranked 22nd in the world for ensuring access to credit. This is a fairly serious figure and is a good indication of the successful outcomes of the reforms in the banking system. The high value given by the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 report to the reforms in Azerbaijan will lead to a substantial increase in the country's weight in the world in the political, economic and financial aspects. There is no doubt that Azerbaijan will rise to a higher level in the next report of this authoritative rating organization. Because Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, has recently introduced the parliament with a tax reform envelope that makes the business environment more attractive in the country, along with a draft budget of 2019. These reforms aim to provide taxpayers with considerable tax privileges and easier maneuverability for the coming year. Such a business environment, in turn, will make the country's economy more attractive to domestic and foreign investors,” the expert noted.
Economic expert Rashad Hasanov said that if we evaluate the Doing Business 2019, the 25th place is good enough. "This means that the possibilities for the easier construction and management of business in Azerbaijan are quite broad. But here's also a methodology issue. The reason for Azerbaijan's sudden advance to 32 stages is that it determined its strategic development path in 2016. Concrete steps have been taken in accordance with the accepted road maps. A special commission has been set up to improve our position on the ratings. The commission has taken concrete steps in this direction by revealing the relevant weak points. The World Bank is reviewing these indicators when preparing the Doing Business 2019 index. These indicators led to the advancement of Azerbaijan's position. But the main issue is the fulfillment of these tasks. The main goal of improving our indicators is to attract investment flows to Azerbaijan on the background of the rise of the country’s reputation. But foreign capital is not at the expected level. Most of the investment is still being made in the energy sector. That's why I think we need to focus on real problems. In the 21st century, investors do not just invest according to only an index. Investors receive information from alternative sources. They have access to more databases. I think that a comprehensive position should be put in place to further improve Azerbaijan's rating. We can not focus only on indexes. At the same time, this process should be supported by structural reforms. The president drew attention to these issues during the meeting on the results of the year. Azerbaijan must join economic blocs," he emphasized.