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Azerbaijan: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Azerbaijan

Doing business in Azerbaijan is quite straightforward but your success often depends on who you know. All documents should be translated into Azeri and you may need a local fixer/translator. Be prepared to take your time and drink lots of chai – the delicious, low-tannin local tea. Azeris are no pushover and are renowned for their negotiating skills.

Business attire is similar to that in southern Europe for both men and women. A smart look is the norm. Suits are widely worn but in summer a short-sleeved shirt is suffice.

Local businesswomen wear sharp skirts and high heels but you may want to check the uneven pavements before copying. July and August are searingly hot with temperatures in Baku approaching 40°C (104°F) and winters are cold and windy. Dress accordingly.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

Economy

Azerbaijan's economy is centered on its large oil and gas industry. Most of the reserves are located in the Caspian Sea basin and the Azeri government has signed a number of major deals with a variety of consortia for the exploration and development of various offshore fields.

Construction, banking, tourism and real estate have also shown recent growth.

Literacy for both men and women nudges 100%. The currency unit is the Manat, which is conveniently close in value to the Euro.

GDP

US$37.85billion (2016).

Main exports

Oil, gas, cotton, machinery, foodstuffs.

Main imports

Machinery, equipment, metals, chemicals and foodstuffs.

Main trading partners

Italy, France, Russia, Germany and Turkey.

Keeping in Touch in Azerbaijan

Telephone

International calls from Azerbaijan may be dialed directly from Baku and some other towns throughout the country.

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is mostly limited to the capital and main towns and is non-existent in many mountain areas.

Internet

Available in all cities and towns.

Media

There are a number of state-run and public media outlets that compete with private and opposition publications and private broadcasters. Despite official freedom of speech, the Azeri media is tightly controlled and very self-censoring.

Post

International postal services are sometimes disrupted. Delays occur, although letters should normally take 10 to 14 days to arrive. Parcels should be registered or sent by courier services to accelerate the process and ensure against loss.

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