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Deloitte expands activities in Azerbaijan

An interview with Nasir Ali - General Director of Deloitte Azerbaijan

This interview was published in the magazine “Azerbaijan”

When did Deloitte first come to Azerbaijan?

– We joined the local market five years ago. We began our work here in November 2002 and have grown very actively since then. This growth has been encouraged by the country’s economy. As a result of this growth, we currently have 65 employees in our Baku office.

What has Deloitte achieved in its time in Azerbaijan?

– One of Deloitte’s traditional service lines is auditing financial statements prepared in accordance with international standards. We also offer tax and legal services to local and international organizations, general technical consulting and financial advisory services. Financial advisory services include the purchase and sale of businesses, the support of other transactions, particularly IPO, as well as advice regarding corporate finance.

We have provided a number of services to the banking sector in Azerbaijan. In recent years we have served the country’s big state companies and commercial banks and our financial advisory team helped a local company list shares in London. Meanwhile, we have provided tax consulting services to a number of domestic and foreign companies and development of the local economy is resulting in increased demand for our services.

We believe that as the local economy evolves, companies will strive towards foreign markets. For this reason we held a conference – entitled “Don’t know how to go to market? Learn with us” – that was dedicated to IPOs in Azerbaijan. We predict there will be a need for this information in the future. We want companies here to know that Deloitte can assist them in realizing their goals. We expect the demand in this sphere to increase dramatically in the future.

Can you tell us about projects that will be realized in 2008?

– A significant part of our business in Azerbaijan covers audits of banking and non-banking organizations. However, we are seeing a shift as a huge amount of foreign capital is expected to flow into the country at the same time as local companies are trying to attract foreign investment. In 2007, we provided financial services and tax consulting to a lot of investors wanting to acquire businesses in Azerbaijan. We also assisted local companies seeking foreign investment with performance related operations. The demand in this area is new and we are planning to enlarge these service lines in the future. Providing services in this field will allow us to support local businesses and help foreign investors to correctly choose their targets.