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USAID - Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade (ACT) Project

Azerbaijan
September 2010 – September 2013

Background
USAID awarded a three year Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade Project in September 2010 to the Sibley International consortium which included Pragma as a major subcontractor. 

Goals
The core objective of the project is to improve value chain competitiveness in key high potential subsectors of the Azerbaijan economy.   This will be achieved through improving the enabling environment for business; supporting enhanced integration into international trade and financial networks (including through WTO accession); and providing strategic institutional strengthening and linkage support designed to improve the competitiveness of and leverage increased private investment and employment expansion in major agriculture/agribusiness industry segments. 

Pragma is primarily responsible for directly enhancing value chain competitiveness in Azerbaijan through dynamic institutional strengthening and market linkage assistance.  Pragma will also provide assistance in promoting critical commercial law reforms, promoting key fiscal/financial sector policy and institutional reforms, and promoting trade and investment integration progress.

Activities
Critical project activities Pragma is undertaking through ACT include:

  • Improving the competitiveness of targeted sub-sectors through the provision of high-impact training and technical assistance to key businesses, farmers, and associations as needed to leverage investment and enhance productivity in  targeted value chains; as well as providing cogent analyze of key policy and institutional barriers to growth, and developing innovative responses to effectively address those constraints.

  • Improving local institutional capacity to identify and analyze value chain competitiveness potential, and to effectively prioritize and address competitiveness-related policy and institutional constraints.

  • Improving institutional capacity to promote knowledge and dissemination of best practice standards in agricultural production/processing/packaging and related product safety/quality norms, by strengthening the curricula and institutional outreach capacity of agricultural programs in relevant universities and technical schools across Azerbaijan.

  • Improving the enabling environment legislative and institutional framework by working with the Government of Azerbaijan and relevant civil society institutions to identify critical reform priorities; assist with the development and dissemination of market-friendly legislative and regulatory reforms; and promote the effective implementation of key reforms in a manner which leverages increased investment and employment in high potential agriculture/agribusiness subsectors.   

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