The order for the “National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development: Azerbaijan – 2030” was approved by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 2 February 2021.
Its significance, based on current global economic realities and the goals required for Azerbaijan to enter a new stage of development, reflects the country’s long-term determination, pragmatic direction towards socio-economic development, and the aim to achieve the harmonization of corresponding national priorities.
Such national priorities include:
- Building a steadily growing competitive economy;
- Fostering a society based on dynamic, inclusive, and social justice;
- Encouraging the increase of competitive human capital and of space for modern innovations;
- Stimulating a greater return to the liberated territories;
- Nurturing a clean environment and national “green growth”.
As a next step, the Government of Azerbaijan is also set to prepare a “strategy for socio-economic development for 2021-2025” within the next 9 months. During the preparations, the Government will ensure an effective cooperation with leading international organizations and specialized consulting companies to help involve relevant state bodies, scientific organizations, field experts, and civil society institutions.
Three out of the five identified National Priorities set for the next decade are directly related to Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) activities. Building a steadily growing competitive economy, a competitive human capital and a space for modern innovations, as well as investing in a clean environment and national “green growth” are all key areas for the industrial sustainable development of Azerbaijan.
They also signal the need and openness to include more cooperation with international organizations and entities to prepare practical strategies.
In this context, the implementation of the 2nd Result of EU-funded “EU4Environment” Action which focuses on “Circular Economy and New Growth Opportunities” plays an essential role in achieving the targets defined in the National Priorities for 2030.
Under this Result, UNIDO is scaling up RECP among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Azerbaijan and building the national capacity of SMEs to use the RECP methodology and Circular Economy practices. At least thirty manufacturing enterprises will be assisted in revising their business models, and local experts will be trained on the methodology to conduct the RECP assessments. The application of RECP measures will help increase overall productivity, product quality, and the competitiveness of SMEs, while preserving the natural environment. The Action will also ensure long-term sustainability for the acquired knowledge in Azerbaijan.