Market in Depth

Oil bonanza

Nov 06, 2007

Azerbaijan (pop. 8,551,000; GDP/cap US$1,664) - a nation with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population - is surrounded by the Caspian Sea, Russia, Georgia, and Iran. Azerbaijan is a low-income country with a gross national income per capita of slightly over US$810 in 2003.

After Azerbaijan's independence from the USSR in 1991, it immediately faced political upheavals, economic decline, and war with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Over the past five years, annual GDP growth rate has been 10 percent. This impressive growth is attributable to the oil industry. Despite the country's natural resources, Azerbaijan remains one of the lowest-income countries in Europe and Central Asia.

Corruption in the oil sector is the driving force of poverty in the country. Inhumane employment practices, pollution, harsh working conditions and low wages characterize the oil sector.

No foreign ownership, very limited leasing
Azerbaijan remains closed to foreign ownership, and if a foreigner has acquired land through mortgage foreclosure or gift, he must sell it within a year. Azerbaijan also allows only 10-year leases. Foreigners may own immovable properties affixed to the land.

Analysis of Azerbaijan Residential Property Market »

Taxes and Costs

Income tax can be high in Azerbaijan

Rental Income: Gross rental income earned by nonresidents is taxed at a flat withholding tax rate of 14%.

Capital Gains: Capital gains are considered as ordinary income and taxed at the standard progressive rates, from 14% to 25%.

Inheritance: There are no inheritance taxes in Azerbaijan.

Residents: Residents are taxed on their worldwide income at progressive rates, from 14% to 25%.

Read Taxes and Costs »