USACC and OPIC Held a Business Briefing: "Support to US Investment in Azerbaijan"

May 15, 2008

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Washington D.C. - The United States - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) together with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) co-organized a breakfast meeting, "Supporting US Investment in Azerbaijan: OPIC" in Washington, D.C. on May 22, during which OPIC officials gave a comprehensive presentation of the organization's growing role in supporting investment in Azerbaijan and the various tools it offers to U.S. companies to facilitate business successes there.

Executive Vice President of OPIC John Simon opened the meeting by speaking about Azerbaijan's new economic indicators and market economy policies adopted by the Azerbaijani government that gives tremendous opportunities to foreign investors wanting to do business in the country. He also addressed recent significant strides that Azerbaijan has made recently in combating corruption and creating a transparent environment in which domestic and foreign businesses can thrive.

"Azerbaijan has created a one-stop shop for business registration in the Ministry of Taxation and that one stop shop has moved it up five points in a World Bank indicator survey that we look at when we are looking at countries that are ready for foreign investment," Simon said.

Simon further encouraged private investors to take advantage of vast business opportunities in Azerbaijan, especially in the non-energy sector, by emphasizing the support OPIC offers to the U.S. investments Azerbaijan.

"We at OPIC are eager to help the Azerbaijanis by working with private investors, particularly to diversify the economy and addressing the need for housing and the industries that serve the oil and gas sector."

USACC Executive Director Mahir Iskender spoke about the many services the USACC provides to U.S. companies that want to do business in Azerbaijan, the organization's efforts to facilitate economic cooperation between the two countries, and its goal to encourage trade and long- term investment.

The event was attended by U.S. private sector representatives seeking investment and business opportunities in Azerbaijan, as well as U.S. government officials. OPIC representatives gave a comprehensive presentation of the organization's services currently offered to U.S. investors by covering such topics as political and financial risk insurance, small and medium enterprise finance, and investment policy.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is the primary U.S. government agency focused on supporting private sector investment in the developing world. OPIC helps US businesses meet the challenges of investing overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy.

Source: USACC