The Azerbaijani Information and Communication Technologies Development Fund will start financing large projects starting in January 2013, Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov said on Thursday during a meeting held at the ministry with a delegation of TeliaSonera.
The minister said that in the near future the government of Azerbaijan is planning to provide companies involved in the ICT sector with special privileges in taxation and customs.
Abbasov said earlier that the Ministry has prepared proposals to reduce customs duties on imports of parts for high-tech products into the country.
The fee for computers imported into the country, as the Minister said, is three per cent, while the duty on imported components for their production ranges from 10 to 15 per cent of the cost.
Despite the rapid development of the ICT sector in Azerbaijan, exports are far behind imports. To develop the ICT sector in Azerbaijan and increase its competitiveness, according to Abbasov, it's necessary to optimise the tax law in this area and the availability of concessional loans.
Azerbaijan is implementing a project of establishing a fund to support ICT which will help to issue loans and grants to companies. Establishment of a fund will allow domestic companies to get both monetary and fiscal benefits.
A decree establishing funds on the balance sheet of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the State Fund for Development of Information Technology was signed by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on March 15.
The Fund will be financed from the state budget and all sectors of the population will benefit from these advantages. The Fund will also 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 programmes allows them to bring the development of scientific ideas on to the creation of a sustainable business that is attractive to investors.
Its primary aim is to conduct public policy development and support of 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.