BP on behalf of its partners today announced in Baku “Best of Business” Local Enterprise Awards as part of its support to local business development.
The awards are aimed at recognizing outstanding local and international companies and business personalities, whose entrepreneurial skills are contributing to the success of BP operated oil and gas projects. They are also designed to recognise those, who have made a lasting impact on the business environment in Azerbaijan.
The initiative is in line with BP’s and its partners’ efforts to maximize local content in their projects through increasing both the number of companies participating in their contracts, and the value of contracts awarded locally.
BP as the operator of Azerbaijan’s major oil and gas development and transportation projects has set an ambitious new target to double the value of contracts placed with Azerbaijan-owned companies within five years. By 2010 BP aims to spend an additional $250million annually with small and medium-sized enterprises and local joint ventures, bringing the total spend with locally-owned companies to over $500million a year.
To reach this target, BP and its partners are working to develop a number of other plans as well to encourage the non-oil sector and support enterprise development throughout Azerbaijan to assist the country in diversifying its economy. This along with other initiatives, we believe, will create innovative and transparent practices of support to local businesses.
The first Best of Business awards were presented today to the following enterprises and individuals nominated in four categories:
Adressing the awards presentation ceremony in the Park Inn Baku Hotel today Phil Home, BP’s Vice-President, Commercial, said: “In working with local contractors to deliver Azerbaijan’s major oil and gas development projects we have created a distinctive Caspian presence, bringing new investments, jobs, technology, standards and skills to Azerbaijan.
“We have helped create substantial new revenue streams which, if used wisely, can have a profound and positive impact on peoples’ lives in this country. Last year we announced that we would double the amount we spend with locally-owned companies by 2010. This would put an additional $250 million a year into the Azerbaijani economy – but would also further stimulate and encourage the development of small and medium-sized companies, vital engines of healthy economic growth.
“I am pleased to say that we are on track to deliver this commitment, through which we are placing a higher priority than ever before on SMEs, with the local enterprise development playing a central role. With our new target to double current spend with local companies by 2010 and having the Enterprise Centre as part of the core BP procurement and supply chain function, it is of particular importance to recognise local and international companies, which are making substantial contributions to enterprise development in Azerbaijan.”
The Enterprise Centre, established by BP and its partners in May 2002 in support of local small and medium enterprise development, will continue to act as a focal point for Azerbaijan’s leading companies, foreign investors and contractors, trade associations and other groups to support local enterprises and encourage their participation in BP contracts.
“Since the establishment of the Enterprise Centre we have made outstanding contribution to the proactive development of Azerbaijan’s economy, enhancing the country’s long-term economic stability. Through our projects, which we are undertaking with our partners, we are committed to doing all we can, to continue to support the development of a strong and competitive market and to maintain this country as one of the best places to do business”, said Mr. Home.
Tamam Bayatly at BP’s Press Office in Baku, telephone: 994 (0) 12 599 4557