Public Private Dialogue – Action Plan

Recommendations for the Improvement of PPD in Azerbaijan

Introduction

The Business community of Azerbaijan wants to highlight the importance of the ongoing transformative process , which entails both challenges and opportunities. The Business Com-munity wants to work together with the public sector to improve conditions for growth and a more favourable business climate. This transformation process and implementation of neces-sary reforms can best be done by involving the private sector in the policy making process.

We, the Business support and private sector organisations call upon the political decision makers to consider us as partners for the design and implementation of reform processes, strategies for economic development and regional cooperation.

Background Information

Over the past eight years, the country’s strategic currency reserves increased by more than 22 times and reached 41 billion US dollars at the end of 2011, which is about 10 times higher than the state’s foreign debt.

Nowadays this situation, the main issue facing Azerbaijan is that countries of the world do not retreat in the process of development. This, first and foremost, requires constant attention to such an important issue as preventing the danger of the country turning into a raw material appendage for the world economy in the medium- and long-term and becoming a technologi-cal “outsider” by eliminating the economy’s current dependence on the export of hydrocar-bon reserves. Although the export of hydrocarbons has been the main driving force of eco-nomic growth in the past decade, the main issue facing us at the current stage is to ensure the rapid development of the non-oil sector, increase the effectiveness and competitiveness of the economy and secure its progress based on.

The development of the non-resource sectors of the economy ,especially : SMEs, ICT and tourism sectors and their competitiveness is the priority trend of the economic policy of the government.

The Business community of Azerbaijan wants to implement new channels of the Public Pri-vate Dialogue that will boost the development of the non-oil sector and will create access to the small and medium enterprises representatives who play important role in the econ-omy but do not have channel to express position and comment on their needs.

Existing PPD Platforms in

Entrepreneurship development fund and the alliance hold a weekly TV program titled “Eco-nomic Forum” where business leaders, experts from civil society, and government officials discuss key economic issues. The program has become very popular as it provides a rare op-portunity for business people and regular citizens to receive information and listen to expert debates on business and economic development issues. No other TV channel airs programs where civil society and the business community have a chance to debate directly with parlia-mentarians and government officials on issues such as institutional reform, economic com-petitiveness, and property rights.

Azerbaijani Export & Investment Promotion Foundation- is also aimed to be PPD platform -but in fact they only help private sector to participate in the exhibitions all over the world.

Situation of the Evaluation and Monitoring of PPD Processes

Business legislations is being simplified across the regions.

The situation with the monitoring and evaluation is unclear.

There is no legislative review mechanisms.

There is no formal requirement to conduct regulatory impact analysis,especially aimed at business-related regulations.

Recommendations/Actions to be taken to improve PPD in Azerbaijan

  • To encourage the creation of (the association of) the commonwealth of sectoral and re-gional entrepreneurs, their registration procedures must be simplified in Azerbaijan;

  • Special platform for dialogue between government and business in Azerbaijan and the activities of the Council of Entrepreneurs under the President should be promoted;

  • Platform (the Council of Entrepreneurs) must have regional departments;

  • The business Council (platforms) meeting should be held once a quarter, the meeting among state and private sector dialogue should continue through (official and unoffi-cial conferences, seminars, meetings and correspondence) other channels at a time; e-platform can be created for constant communication and follow ups

  • Public-private sector dialogue and their implementation must set specific targets for NGOs and their monitoring and assessing should be provided at the end of the every year

  • Projects of normative legal acts prepared by Central and local executive authorities must be placed on the specific website menu and discussions on the future projects must be held together with business associations and comments must be collected.

  • Comments and proposal that was refused to accept must be shared with the basis for declining and detailed statistics,including numbers of accepted and refused proposals must be shared and reported.

  • The new project proposals and acts must be posted for public discussion and sent to the relevant committees within 3 days they enter the National Parliament. It is a re-quirement of the law,but it doesn't function and needs to be improved.

  • •Strengthen Azerbaijan’s position as a leading human capital center, framed by a well-coordinated labour market between the state and the private sector, to attract more in-vestments and talent;

  • To Establish a national Ombudsman Office to serve as independent advocate for the small businesses by providing support and advice

  • Enhance advocacy capacity of business associations to promote legislative initiatives for the benefit of the private sector;

  • •Consolidate public-private partnership in planning manpower, formulating education policy, developing and reforming curricula, assessing standards in order to make edu-cation sector more sensitive to the needs of the innovative economy;

  • Seek for options to better involve social partners in the policy dialogue, implementa-tion and monitoring.

  • Legalisation of the lobbying in the country for the creation of legal basis and its work to be carried out.