Azerbaijan is taking steps to improve public procurement, including creating equal competitive conditions for all producers, expanding the participation of micro, small and medium-sized businesses in public procurement, the State Service for Antimonopoly and Consumer Market Control under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy.
According to the state structure, in the country, the amount of procurement on a competitive basis, following the results of 301 open electronic tenders, surpassed 70.7 million manat ($41.6 million) in the first quarter of 2021.
“As a result of the transfer of procedures to an electronic format, more comfortable conditions were created for the participation of entrepreneurs in public procurement. In addition, the State Service for Antimonopoly and Consumer Market Control has prepared a draft amendment to the law ‘On public procurement’,” said the message.
The state service said that in the first quarter of this year, five market entities who violated the law were fined for a total of 5,410 manat ($3,182).
“Besides, administrative protocols drawn up in relation to 18 market entities were sent to the judicial authorities for taking appropriate measures, and at the moment cases have been initiated on grounds of price manipulation in the production and sale of steel products, unfair competition in the field of courier services, confusion consumers in the production and sale of dairy products and illegal use of the trademark of another market entity in the sale of sewing goods. At present, investigations in these areas are ongoing," the structure noted.
The state service also said that the draft Competition Code is being finalized.
“For this, a working group has been created in the department, which has studied the advanced international trends in the field of competition policy and control. A new improved draft of the Competition Code has been prepared, taking into account both international experience and the conditions of economic growth of Azerbaijan, and currently, the project is at the stage of coordination with the relevant structures,” the message added.
The "State Program on Bringing the National Standardization System in Compliance with International Requirements for 2021–2025" was prepared and sent to the relevant structures to ensure the free circulation of the Azerbaijani products in international trade and simplify import and export operations.
The implementation of the state program, which envisages the adoption of 28 new technical regulations based on the European directives, will cover consumer goods to which they apply.
At the same time, the "Azerbaijan Standardization Institute" public legal entity subordinate to the State Service approved the "National Standardization Program for 2021-2023" for the adoption and periodic verification of 1,098 normative documents on standardization.
"The introduction of new standards will allow domestic entrepreneurs to manufacture competitive products that meet modern requirements of science, technology, as well as expand access to the foreign markets," the State Service stressed.
Eleven state standards were adopted and included in the state register within the implementation of the National Program, four of which are in the field of conformity assessment, three are in the field of statistics classifications of various sectors and one standard is in the field of road safety, the fight against bribery, labor protection, safety rules and in the fight against plastic bag pollution.