A press conference was held on the results of 2022 at the Economic Zones Development Agency

A press conference was held on the results of the activities of the Economic Zones Development Agency (EZIA) for 2022.

Elshad Nuriyev, Chairman of the Management Board of the Economic Zones Development Agency, informed the media representatives about the work done in the industrial zones managed by the Agency last year and the planned measures. It was reported that the Agency is the managing organization of 6 industrial parks (Sumgait Chemistry, Pirallahi, Mingachevir, Garadag, Aghdam and "Araz Valley Economic Zone" industrial parks), 4 industrial districts (Hajigabul, Masalli, Neftchala and Sabirabad industrial districts), 51 agricultural parks and Vocational Education Center.

To date, 116 business entities in industrial zones have been granted residency status, and 65 of them have already started production. Entrepreneurs have invested more than 6.47 billion manats in industrial zones and more than 10,300 permanent jobs have been created. It is planned to invest about 460 million manats in industrial zones and create more than 4,500 new jobs in the next phase of existing projects.

To date, industrial zones have produced products worth 8.8 billion manats, of which 2.9 billion manats or almost 33% have been exported.

A resident status was granted to 28 business entities in industrial zones managed by IZIA in 2022. 12 of them are registered as a resident of Aghdam Industrial Park, 2 as a resident of "Araz Valley Economic Zone" Industrial Park, 8 as a resident of Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park, 1 as a resident of Pirallahi Industrial Park, 3 as a resident of Hajigabul Industrial Quarter, 1 as a resident of Masalli Industrial Quarter, 1 as a resident of Sabirabad Industrial District. It is planned to invest 171 million manats and create more than 2,400 jobs by residents registered last year. The production projects of trucks of different tonnage and special purpose vehicles, electrical, ventilation and firefighting equipment, construction chemicals, soft polymer packaging products, various metal products, roof coverings, automation and telemechanics systems, wallpapers, blood sugar measuring device (glucometer) and strips, etc. will be implemented by these residents in industrial zones.

Active residents of industrial zones sold products worth 2.9 billion manats in 2022, of which 1.1 billion manats were exported. Last year sales increased by 22.7% compared to 2021 while exports were up 13%. The share of industrial zones in the production of non-oil industry products was 16.7%, and in their exports - 29.5% last year.

4 enterprises (Chinese capital ceramic tile production enterprise of "Azerbaijan Vanhong Ceramics Co." LLC, matte and glossy packaging production enterprise of AK Pack" LLC, Polymer products processing enterprise of "Novus Plastica" LLC, production enterprise of packaging products (corrugated cardboard, envelope, file, etc.) of "UPI - Universal Packing Industry" JSC) are planned to start operating in Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park in 2023. More than 600 permanent jobs are planned to be created in these enterprises with a total investment volume of more than 90 million manats.

The products manufactured in the industrial zones have been exported to more than 50 countries (Canada, USA, UAE, Austria, Czech Republic, Brazil, Germany, Italy, India, China, Taiwan, Israel, Spain etc.) of the world under the "Made in Azerbaijan" brand, in addition to meeting the domestic demand in the country.

Media representatives were also informed about the industrial parks “Aghdam” and "Araz Valley Economic Zone" created in our territories liberated from occupation. It was reported that, 12 business entities were granted residency status in Agdam Industrial Park, and 3 entrepreneurs were granted non-residency status in 2022. These residents are expected to invest more than 66 million manat in the Industrial Park and create over 800 jobs. The first enterprises in the Industrial Park are expected to start operating at the end of 2023.

"Araz Valley Economic Zone" Industrial Park, which covers an area of 200 hectares, currently has 2 residents and 1 non-resident. Residents are expected to invest 17.8 million manats and create over 250 jobs. The first enterprise in the "Araz Valley Economic Zone" Industrial Park is expected to start operating at the end of 2023.

It was brought to the attention of media representatives that a favorable business environment has been formed in industrial parks for the development of entrepreneurship. Thus, the residents of industrial parks are exempted from property tax, land tax, income or profit tax for 10 years from the date of their registration, VAT upon importing machinery, technological equipment and facilities imported for production purposes, and customs duties for 10 years. As a result of the introduction of VAT and customs concessions, the residents of industrial parks managed by IZIA have saved more than 436.4 million manats up to day.

The favorable environment created for entrepreneurs in industrial zones further enhances investment attractiveness. As a result, about 50 projects (production of composite fittings and networks, pharmaceuticals and food additives, shoes, furniture, pipe and box profiles, special purpose equipment, etc.) are currently under review at Economic Zones Development Agency.  

Then the media representatives were informed about the agroparks under the Agency’s management of the, the work done there and the upcoming goals.

It was noted that work is currently underway to create 51 agro-parks on 239.3 thousand hectares of land in 32 districts of the republic. 34 of the agroparks specialize in horticulture, 14 in horticulture and animal husbandry, 1 in animal husbandry, and 2 in processing industry. 44 of these agroparks have already started to operate, while design and construction works are underway in the rest. The total project cost of agroparks is 2.4 billion manats, of which 1.4 billion manats have already been invested in the implementation of projects.

In addition to enhancing food security, agroparks also play an important role in boosting employment. Currently, over 4,600 people are provided with permanent jobs in the agroparks, and more than 5,200 people are employed in seasonal work. More than 4,700 additional jobs are expected to be created in the future.

80.1 thousand hectares of the 127.2 thousand hectares of land included in the crop rotation of agroparks in 2021-2022 are irrigated areas, 55.4 thousand hectares (67%) of which have progressive irrigation systems installed.

New intensive and super-intensive orchards have been planted on the territory of 8,256,000 hectares of agroparks.

152 thousand tons of wheat, 71 thousand tons of barley, 70 thousand tons of grain corn, 177 thousand tons of sugar beet, 26 thousand tons of potatoes, 1.9 thousand tons of soybeans, 31 thousand tons of cotton, 57 thousand tons of corn for silage and 18 thousand tons of alfalfa were produced in 2022.

The average yield per hectare in agricultural parks applying innovative technologies was 6-7 t/ha for barley and wheat, 12-15 t/ha for corn, and 80 t/ha for sugar beet. In addition, there are grain warehouse complexes with a capacity of 493,000 cubic meters for the supply, storage and sale of grain products in agricultural parks, which is 24% of modern grainaries in the country.

10 of the commissioned agroparks produce meat and dairy products of livestock. These agricultural parks produced 36.9 thousand tons of milk and 2.3 thousand tons of meat in 2022.

Agro-parks are supported by the state by creating the necessary external infrastructure, providing preferential loans and investment promotion documents. To date, 195 million manat preferential loans have been granted by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund to create 25 agricultural parks. In addition, 27 agroparks that received investment promotion documents, received concessions worth 44.7 million manats for the import of machinery, technological equipment and facilities.

Besides, the state continued the work on the creation of agroparks last year. Thus, Yevlax Pilot Agropark was created with the involvement of more than 100 small and medium farmers in the Yevlax region as part of the pilot project "Integration of medium-sized farms into agro-industrial clusters". It is planned to invest over 100 million manats in the agricultural park, and to attract 500 permanent and more than 1000 seasonal workers. Early ripening seedlings of cherry, nectarine, peach, cherry and apricot as well as 500,000 seedlings were planted on 10 hectares of the area allotted to "ISFA" LLC, the first resident of Yevlax Pilot Agropark, using modern irrigation systems, in the area allocated for nursery. "ISFA" LLC will sell seedlings in the domestic market as well as export them.

Work is being continued on the creation of new pilot agroparks within the framework of the project "Integration of the average farm into the agro-industrial cluster" in Sabirabad region. It is planned to employ 725 people in the agricultural park with an investment of 41 million manats.

Media representatives were informed about the signing of cooperation memorandums of between the Economic Zones Development Agency and business associations of Uzbekistan on the development of sericulture and cocoon breeding, as well as cotton and textile industry. It is planned to create cotton and sericulture clusters in economic zones within the framework of joint cooperation.

It was noted that in accordance with the "Model Regulations on Agricultural Parks" approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 21, 2021, is underway to maintain a register of agricultural parks, as well as issuing a certificate of registration of the resident of the agricultural park to the legal and physical persons representing them. It is planned to complete the work on the agroparks and their residents planned for the initial stage of registration, by the end of February 2023. One of the main goals in the future activities of agroparks is the application of the clustering model in different directions. The organization of agro-industrial clusters will create additional opportunities to increase the competitiveness and export of local products, the formation of national brands and a coordinated unified system, and the reduction of product production costs.

The questions of the media representatives were answered at the end of the event.