Another public discussion was organized by the Public Council under SMBDA on March 14 with the support of the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA), the Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Mediation Council, with the participation of government agencies and businessmen.
The event on "Support to SMEs in alternative dispute resolution: problems and prospects" discussed alternative ways of out-of-court settlement of disputes related to entrepreneurship, the role of mediation in this area, the solution of difficulties faced by entrepreneurs through mediation.
Representatives of the Ministry of Economy and agencies, the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Supreme Court, the Judicial-Legal Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the State Customs Committee, the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers), MPs, members of the Bar, entrepreneurs and business associations operating in various sectors of the economy took part in a public discussion organized within the framework of state-entrepreneur cooperation.
Farhad Garashov, Chairman of the Public Council under SMBDA, noted that the event was held to resolve disputes related to entrepreneurship, study the situation in the field of professional legal assistance to businesses, promote mediation and develop public-private partnerships.
First Deputy Speaker of the Milli Majlis, Chairman of the Committee on Legal Policy and State Building Ali Huseynli said that the institution of mediation is an alternative way to resolve disputes, and this institution is already working. It was noted that mediation is an important tool in resolving disputes over SMEs, as well as reducing costs for businesses in this area, expanding cooperation as a result of reaching an agreement between the parties in an effective mediation process.
Chairman of the Board of SMBDA Orkhan Mammadov stressed that the successful reforms in the judicial sphere, the formation of the institution of mediation, improving the quality and efficiency of justice have had a positive impact on improving the investment and business environment.
It was noted that the protection of the rights of business entities is one of the activities of SMBDA. The violated rights of entrepreneurs have been restored on more than 300 appeals received by the Agency to resolve commercial disputes.
The Law on Mediation contributes to the out-of-court settlement of disputes through mediation. The agency has 9 SME friends having mediator certificates operating in different regions of the country. The settlement of business disputes of entrepreneurs through mediation prevents the loss of time, additional costs, the dissemination of trade secrets, and reduces the likelihood of damage to the business reputation of the company.
Chairman of the Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan Anar Bagirov made a speech on the organization of commercial courts, facilitation of entrepreneurs' access to court, out-of-court settlement of disputes related to business activities and stressed the importance of the activities of the Board, one of the co-founders of the Mediation Council, the expansion of alternative dispute resolution, the joint work with SMBDA on the professional protection of the rights and legally protected interests of entrepreneurs, as well as the establishment of commercial arbitration courts in terms of improving the business environment in the country and its attractiveness.
Chairman of the Board of the Mediation Council Nadir Adilov informed about the activities of the council, regulation and control mechanisms in the field of mediation. It was noted that currently 241 mediators operate in the country, of which 143 work in Baku, Sumgayit and Absheron, 5 in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and 69 in other cities and regions. In 2021, about 12,000 disputes were considered by mediators. This year, more than 7,500 appeals were received to resolve disputes through mediation, of which 737 were commercial disputes. A total of 475 disputes, 83 of which were commercial and 62 of which were labor disputes, were resolved through mediation without going to court.
At the event, the proposals and difficulties faced by lawyers and entrepreneurs in resolving disputes related to entrepreneurial activity were heard, and questions of interest to entrepreneurs were answered by representatives of relevant government agencies.
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