BP and Small- and Medium-sized Business Development Agency to cooperate to support local enterprise development

Baku, December 20, AZERTAC

BP on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that it operates – the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Shah Deniz and the South Caucasus Pipeline projects – today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Azerbaijan’s Small- and Medium-sized Business Development Agency (SMBDA) to jointly explore opportunities for cooperation to support the development of local businesses.

Under this MoU the two parties will work together to evaluate potential directions and areas of joint work in support of local business development.

Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, BP’s Vice President, Communications, External Affairs, Strategy and Region, said: “We are pleased to sign this MoU today which will allow us to work closely with SMBDA to further help the growth of the local business market. BP, as operator of Azerbaijan’s largest oil and gas development projects, together with its co-venturers has been supporting local business development initiatives for more than a decade. This has been and remains a priority area in our social investment strategy in Azerbaijan. In the early years of our operations here, we saw a need to help local businesses enhance their capabilities to be able to compete with experienced international companies and increase their participation in BP-operated projects in this region. We have been very successful in driving this initiative and are proud to see hundreds of local companies providing quality services to our business. We remain committed to helping the development and growth of local businesses as part of the rapid growth of Azerbaijan’s economy.”

Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the SMBDA Board, said: “Cooperation with the private local and foreign companies is one of the priorities for SMBDA to promote and support SME sector development. The SMBDA is committed to the improvement of the business environment for the entities which belong to that sector. We truly believe that Azerbaijan’s economy will benefit from the sector’s development. BP is a company with a high sense of social responsibility and as such is committed to the development of the local business infrastructure. We are pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding on small- and medium-sized business development support. We are confident that it will reinforce the platform for the development of the SME sector in Azerbaijan.”

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