Private sector matters:

Azerbaijan’s business community at the heart of poverty eradication efforts

Feb 27, 2018

Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan, from the "Azerbaijan through a Foreign Lens" photo contest

Baku, 27 February 2018 – The Global Goals prominently known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are set to change the way the world does business. Achieving the SDGs has the potential to unlock USD 12 trillion a year in business value creating more than 380 million jobs across four key industries –food and agriculture, cities and urban mobility, energy and materials, health and well-being. This message was reinforced during the training workshop organised jointly by UNDP and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Azerbaijan. Bringing together over 20 representatives of the country’s vibrant business community, the programme aimed at helping Azerbaijani companies integrate the SDGs in their business portfolios.

Putting partnership at the heart of talks on SDG implementation where the private sector is seen as the catalyser for poverty reduction and development, UNDP acknowledges that the private sector’s vast innovation potential, creativity, technological expertise and investment are essential for success in this area. As countries move forward with laying out their national development plans for the next 12 years, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, many companies around the globe demonstrate strong interest in taking part in this process. Research shows that 92 percent of businesses around the world are aware of the SDGs, while companies that are planning to take action account for 71 percent of businesses surveyed. Yet oftentimes they do not know exactly how to integrate the SDGs into business models.

Tapping into this unmet demand, Director of the UNDP Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development Marcos Neto, who was facilitating the training, pointed out 60 Global Goal hotspot areas, where businesses can find numerous opportunities to improve their bottom line and considerably cut costs while making a social impact. Among these hotspots, reducing food waste in value chains, enabling micro-irrigation systems, increasing energy efficiency and green chemistry, providing affordable housing and supporting road safety, to name a few, present enormous potential to grow more than twice as fast as the global economy.

United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan Ghulam M. Isaczai stressed that the country has made tremendous progress towards the sustainability agenda. He noted that the UN stands ready to support the Government, the private sector and civil society in their collective efforts to reduce the country’s hydrocarbon dependency, foster gender mainstreaming, and promote inclusive socio-economic development and greener growth, in line with the national development plans.

Speaking of the role of the private sector in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs, the Executive Director of AmCham Natavan Mammadova specifically emphasised the importance of building a strong market for small and medium enterprises in Azerbaijan and aligning them with sustainability vision noting that 90 percent of jobs worldwide are created by SMEs.

The training workshop for the private sector was organised as part of the project on “Supporting the localisation of Sustainable Development Goals and alignment of national development plans to the SDGs”, implemented by the UNDP in partnership with the National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development.  

Contact information

Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan, arzu.jafarli@undp.org

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