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IFC Helps Azerbaijan Ease Business Registration Supporting Entrepreneurs and the Economy

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 15, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has helped Azerbaijan introduce online business registration, broadening the range of electronic services provided by the government, and making it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses generating economic growth.
The new online system cuts the time required to register a business from two days to two minutes, reduces paperwork, and eliminates formality. It allows anyone with internet access to register a business improving access particularly for young people, women, and those living in remote areas.
“It took us time and effort to reform this critically important area of business regulation, and we are grateful to the IFC Investment Climate team in Baku for its tremendous support,” said Natig Amirov, Deputy Minister of Taxes. “In addition to direct economic benefits, this online system will also allow us to save tons of paper per year.”
Irina Niederberder, IFC Project Manager, said, "Global experience shows that reducing face-to-face interactions between businesses and officials benefits the economy and accelerates growth. Reforms in business registration, including the one stop shop and online registration, will result in over $10 million of cost savings for entrepreneurs per year. IFC continues to support diversification of the country’s economic base, and we expect that many of the newly registered businesses will be small and medium enterprises that operate in non-oil sectors."
Since 2007, IFC has been supporting the government in improving the business registration system in the country. As a result, the government launched a one stop shop system in early 2008. Later, jointly with the Ministry of Taxes, IFC conducted studies identifying ways to further improve business registration and customer service to the taxpayers, and supported the exchange of experience with other countries through training events and conferences.
Azerbaijan joined IFC in 1995. As of January 2011, IFC has committed $334 million of its own funds and arranged nearly $104 million in syndications in Azerbaijan. IFC’s Azerbaijan Investment Climate Advisory Services Project is funded by SECO and BP on behalf of its co-venturers.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
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