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Azerbaijan’s ICT Development Fund to Start Backing Projects in 2013

The Azerbaijani Information and Communication Technologies Development Fund will start financing large projects starting January 2013, said Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov.

The minister said that in the near future the government of Azerbaijan is planning to provide ICT companies with special privileges in taxation and customs.

In addition, the Ministry has prepared proposals to reduce customs duties on high-tech product imports into the country.

The fee for computers imported into Azerbaijan is 3 percent, while for imported computer components the fee ranges from 10 to 15 percent.

Despite rapid developments in ICT, exports are far behind imports. Abbasov noted that to develop the ICT sector in Azerbaijan and increase its competitiveness it is necessary to optimize the tax law in this area and to provide access to loans.

The country is establishing a fund to support ICT development, which will help with issuing loans and grants to companies. The establishment of such a fund will allow domestic companies to get both monetary and fiscal benefits.

A decree establishing funds for the ICT was signed by President Ilham Aliyev on March 15.

The fund will be financed by the state budget and will provide direct financial support to promising start-ups in science and technology.

In international practice the participation of small innovative companies in the fund's programs allows them to bring the development of scientific ideas into the creation of sustainable businesses that are attractive to investors.

Its primary aim is to conduct public policy development and to support small enterprises in the scientific and technical fields, providing them with direct financial assistance and training, which in turn facilitates the creation of new jobs.

Source: Trend

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