Digital Trade Hub to create digital space on Great Silk Road

  20 October 2017    Read: 472
Digital Trade Hub to create digital space on Great Silk Road

The first international conference titled “Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan: Development Perspectives”, was held in Baku on October 19. The Hub will allow expanding significantly the export of Azerbaijani products and increasing the inflow of both portfolio and direct investments into the country.

The attendees of the conference presented reports on the general concept of development of digital hubs, on cooperation in this field, as well as use and mutual recognition of electronic signatures. Speakers made presentations on new opportunities for simplifying export procedures, issuing electronic signatures to non-residents, online registration and company management. Moreover, new solutions in the field of electronic banking and investment were presented at the event.

Vusal Gasimli, Executive Director of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of Azerbaijan, addressing the conference, noted that Azerbaijan's Digital Trading Hub became the first model of cooperation between the state and the private sector in the post-Soviet area.

“The Digital Trade Hub enables non-residents in Azerbaijan after receiving electronic signatures and ASAN Signature to carry out operations to open LLCs, bank accounts, hire employees, carry out export-import operations,” he said, adding that the Hub also provides an opportunity to create an electronic wallet.

Another important detail is that the Digital Trade Hub performs the role of an electronic “single window” for export, Gasimli noted.

“In other words, any Azerbaijani exporter, without leaving the office, can by means of a computer or a mobile device pass all necessary procedures related to documentation and registration of export of products,” Gasimli explained.

During the conference, Gasimli, on behalf of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of Azerbaijan, signed memorandums of cooperation with a number of companies.

He signed the documents with Zaur Gardashov, head of Azexport.az portal, Valery Pustarnakov and Vladimir Kustov, heads of Russia’s Gazinformservis, Andrzej Rucinski, adviser to the president of the management board at Poland’s Asseco Data Systems, and Sardor Mukhamedaliev, CIS general director at Zoodel B2B platform of Switzerland-based company OrientSwiss.

Gasimli said that signing of the agreements will help improve relations between countries towards the development of e-commerce and foster the economic development of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan's Deputy Economy Minister Sahil Babayev, also spoke at the event, noting that during the past 23 months, 113 inspections were held in the country's business sector.

“The inspections were carried out by the Ministry of Taxes,” Babayev said. “In previous years, hundreds of thousands inspections were carried out for the same period.”

He noted that the reduction of inspections significantly improved the business environment in Azerbaijan.

“Improvement of the business environment and implementation of systemic reforms made it possible to significantly expand export of Azerbaijani products,” Babayev said, adding that this attracted a lot of investments in the created industrial parks.

The Deputy Minister noted that at present more than $1.1 billion have been invested in these parks.

He also mentioned the mechanism for encouraging investments, saying that investments worth about 1.7 billion manats ($1 billion) were allocated for the implementation of 204 projects within this mechanism.

Speaking at the event, Kestutis Jankauskas, the head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan noted that the European Union and Azerbaijan are very important to each other.

The EU is the main trade partner of Azerbaijan, noted Jankauskas, adding that currently, the EU accounts for about 50 percent of Azerbaijani exports and about 25 percent of imports.

“The EU has been supporting Azerbaijan in the issues of economic diversification and expansion of exports over past few years, said the diplomat, adding that the sides work together on an economy that can provide quality jobs.

Note, the Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan was created in accordance with the Decree of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to expand the international trade and strengthen the Azexport.az portal. According to this Decree “Asan İmza” will be issued to the foreign citizens in all diplomatic representatives of Azerbaijan all around the world. Also the Presidential Decree dated September 12, 2017 ratified Regulations “On “www.azexport.az” web portal”, in accordance with which the users registered on the portal via “Asan İmza” and taxpayers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, will be able to make and sign the contracts with their foreign business partners electronically. Other procedures will be also performed by means of enhanced signature “Asan İmza” or “e-Imza”. The conference will also present the m-Residence project enabling foreign nationals to use “Asan İmza”, and therefore, have access to all e-services in Azerbaijan. So they will be able to operate their business from anywhere in the world. Due to the recently launched single AsanDoc.az portal, allowing one signing any electronic document with digital signature “Asan İmza”, provides convenient and legal communication with Public institutions and banks of Azerbaijan. Also it simplified the workflow between the private companies.

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