Informal economy project AHIK working group meeting

The working group for the implementation of the national programme in framework of the PERC-FNV CEE Informal Economy project was organised in Baku, 30 October 2008.

There were 10 participants at the meeting of the WG from the target branches foreseen in February and the AHIK agriculture, commerce, small business, construction and transport branches.

A.Ibragimov presented the Azerbaijan IE mapping national paper to the participants. He noted that he used both the official statistics and that of the international institutions and of the independent sources. According to the data about 60% of Azerbaijan GDP are created in the shadow sector, informal employment is about 55%-60%. There is a programme on the return of emigrants but so far without any results. The foreigners’ employment procedure is very strict in Azerbaijan, in total 17000 permissions were issued, it is compulsory to be registered in the local authority bodies.

The commerce unión organized the trade unión in the gold mine where many people are working without agreements and those who work with the agreements have them in English language (The Canadian company is the owner of the mine). The membership is growing and among the market place traders.

At present the commerce trade unión unites 52000 members among whom 33000 are in commerce. Mostly they work organizing small shops. The members join the regional organizations directly, the membership fees are fixed in amount of 1 Azm (1euro).

The transport trade unión is working in the direction of organizing taxi and minibús drivers and at present unites 300 taxi and minibús drivers. The problem is that Baku municipality provided the routes in the city centre for the big companies managing big buses and small carriers are moved away to the suburbs. The membership fees from the self-employed drivers are collected irregularly and in cash.

In construction the day-employees are hired without agreements at the illegal labour exchanges. When in the beginning of the year the new building fell down due to low quality the President of the country ordered the responsible institutions to control the sector more strictly. Now the number of illegals is a bit lower. Since February 1 organization was set up.
The agriculture trade unión participates in the state región development programme and via that it is trying to organize the farmers but so far without success.

Small and médium business trade unión unites 42000 members and has many organizations at the market-places among whom 3000 are self-employed, the membership fees are collected regularly and in cash - 1 manat per month.

The participants have discussed the action plan to be implemented in the course of the project.