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 Press release - The Eurasia Foundation Awards Nearly $120,000 For Private Enterprise Development In Azerbaijan (EF)

 Press release date: 13.02.2002

THE EURASIA FOUNDATION

AZERBAIJAN OFFICE

THE EURASIA FOUNDATION AWARDS NEARLY $120,000 for PRIVATE ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT in AZERBAIJAN

Baku, Azerbaijan (February 14, 2002)-The Eurasia Foundation representative office in Baku has awarded $118,684 in 4 new grants to promote private enterprise development in Azerbaijan. The grant recipients are KRON Co. LTD., Agro Meslehet, Trend Information-Analytical Agency, and Gizil Petek.

KRON Co. LTD. ($34,939)
"Legal Compliance of Small Enterprises with New Tax Law of Azerbaijan Republic"
To support and improve small and medium-sized enterprises' understanding and compliance with the new tax code that became effective last year. In this project, a legal firm and a publishing house will work together to prepare and distribute commentaries on the new tax code. The grant will also fund the development of an electronic database, establish interactive training, and provide consulting services for 200 small and medium-sized businesses from Ganja, Sheki, Shamkir, and Tovuz, as well as public education efforts across Azerbaijan.

Agro Meslehet ($34,955)
"Development of Farmers' Cooperation in the Southern Region"
To support its efforts to reinforce agricultural cooperation in six regions of southern Azerbaijan, where business conditions are promising for agricultural development. The project's long-term aim is to raise farmers above subsistence-level production and improve the efficiency of regional businesses. Agro Meslehet is continuing its efforts supported by an earlier Eurasia Foundation grant to improve farmers' business skills. Its current project will educate farmers in the economic benefits of closer collaboration by creating two pilot cooperatives (one in production and another in services). It will also organize collaboration along one complete production chain, involving farmers/suppliers, processors, and buyers of agricultural products.

Trend Information-Analytical Agency ($34,977)
"Improved Coverage of Oil & Gas Sector-Related Information by Mass Media"
To raise the quality of information available to Azerbaijanis in the media on economic issues connected to the oil and gas industry. The project aims to improve access to reliable information and foster the public's trust in the media by increasing journalists' knowledge of energy issues, while concurrently developing working relationships between the media and the petroleum industry. Trend Information-Analytical Agency will host seminars to educate journalists on energy themes and development, publish a textbook on reporting on the energy sector, lead visits to production sites, and hold discussions with Azerbaijani and foreign energy companies

Gizil Petek ($13,813)
"Entrepreneurial Development in the Sector of Beekeeping"
To improve marketing in the Azerbaijani beekeeping industry to ultimately increase domestic sales of quality honey products. With an earlier grant from the Eurasia Foundation, Gizel Petek conducted a study on the demand for these goods and determined that this sector could serve as a pilot for Azerbaijan's many agricultural businesses. While the current project will focus on 12 regions, it will produce and distribute informational materials, advertise to raise awareness of local production, and organize the first countrywide trade fair for honey products.

Privately managed with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and other sponsors, the Eurasia Foundation has made more than 5,800 grants for $115.9 million in twelve countries of the former Soviet Union since 1993. The Eurasia Foundation in Azerbaijan supports local initiatives in civil society and private enterprise and has awarded nearly $3 million in Azerbaijan since 1994. For more information about the Eurasia Foundation, please visit http://www.eurasia.org.

Contact: Greg Stephenson, Outreach Coordinator
122 Tolstoy Street, Ste. 4, Baku, Azerbaijan 370005
Tel: (994 12) 97 25 50, 97 21 47, 95 40 03 Fax: (994 12) 97 17 33 * E-mail: greg@efazerbaijan.org



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