Azerbaijan economic development

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Trade relations are one of the main directions of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Serbia.


Minister of Economy, co-chair of the Azerbaijan-Serbia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation Shahin Mustafayev met with Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan.


During the meeting, the sides discussed prospects of cooperation and economic relations between the two countries.


Mustafayev emphasized that there are wide opportunities for development of cooperation between our countries in various spheres of economy, including trade, investment, industry, energy, agriculture, transport, tourism and ICT, and shared views on expanding relations in these spheres.


In turn, Ljajic said that his country is interested in expanding relations with Azerbaijan, developing cooperation in trade, investment, tourism and agriculture.


Later, Azerbaijani-Serbian business meeting was held with the support of the Ministry of Economy, the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia.
Mustafayev said that Azerbaijan and Serbia successfully cooperate in infrastructure construction noting that Serbia can use transport and transit opportunities in Azerbaijan. The opportunities for cooperation in tourism, agriculture, ICT and other spheres are extensive.


More than 30 documents have been signed between our countries so far, the trade turnover in 2017 has increased by 36 percent and 33 percent in January-September 2018.


Noting the importance of the events organized by the business circles, Rasim Ljajic stressed that the events of businessmen can be held in Serbia in 2019. Ljajic informed about privileges of the investments in Serbia, and invited Azerbaijani businessmen to invest in his country.


Chairman of the Azerbaijani Tourism Agency Fuad Nagiyev informed about the development of tourism in our country, the strategy implemented in this field, and presented the tourism development in Azerbaijan.


State Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia, Miroslav Knežević, Director of Sokobanja Tourism Organization Ljubinko Milenkovic, director of Park Palic, Nebojsa Darabosa, Director of Special Rehabilitation Hospital “Rusanda”, Zorica Culibrk made presentations to promote the tourism opportunities of Serbia.


The Azerbaijan-Serbia bilateral relation develop in all areas, and the potential of cooperation is estimated at a high level.


The Declaration on Friendship and Strategic Partnership between Azerbaijan and Serbia signed in 2013, the Joint Action Plan on Strategic Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Serbia signed in May 2018 and the fifth meeting of the Azerbaijan-Serbia intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation held in this month play an important role in expanding cooperation.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on August 21, 1997. Over all these years, the countries have been successfully cooperating within international organizations and enjoyed sustainable development of ties in many spheres, such as political, economic, scientific, cultural and humanitarian fields.


Serbia is interested in the operation of Azerbaijani companies in the country. The country stated that Azerbaijan can invest in any sphere in Serbia and Serbia is ready to provide Azerbaijani companies with various privileges, preferences and subsidies in the amount of 15 to 20 percent depending on the amount of investments.


Azerbaijani company Azvirt participates in infrastructure projects in Serbia. AzVirt implemented the major road project in Serbia based on the document signed between Azerbaijan and Serbia in 2012. In 2012, the government of Azerbaijan provided a 308 million euro loan for a period of 25 years with a three-year grace period at a rate of four percent per annum for the construction of the highway in Serbia. The loan financed the construction of the Ljig-Boljkovci, Boljkovci-Takovo, and Takovo-Preljina sections of E-763 highway. Meanwhile, AzVIRT plans to implement the second major road project in Serbia.


Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with Serbia increased to $ 5.5 million in 2017, by 36 percent and in the first nine months of 2018 - by 33 percent, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee. Almost the entire volume of the trade turnover accounted for the imports of Serbian products to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani export to Serbia amounted to $ 18,000 while imports to Azerbaijan made $ 5,48 million.


Bilateral cooperation in tourism is also developing. In 2017, the number of Serbian citizens visiting Azerbaijan increased by 14 percent. Moreover, the visa regime with Azerbaijan was abolished on June 2, 2018.
 

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Direct flights will be opened between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Alizade said on the Pakistani television channel Channel 5.


The parties began to work in this direction, he said during the Diplomatic Enclave telecast.


Alizade expressed official Baku’s interest in expanding trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan,


Today, about 300 companies and entrepreneurs from Pakistan are working in Azerbaijan, the number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan is growing, the ambassador said.


The ambassador emphasized that Azerbaijan was interested in expanding cooperation with Pakistan in economic and trade spheres, adding that there are many joint projects, exhibitions, increase in trade turnover between the two countries this year, and that potential and opportunities in this area need to be thoroughly explored.


The envoy talked about the products that can be exported from Azerbaijan to Pakistan and that there are about 300 Pakistani companies and businessmen operating in our country, multiple increase in the number of tourists coming from Pakistan to the country and that work on the establishment of direct air communication between the two countries is currently underway.


He also informed about the conditions created for foreign investors in Azerbaijan, the activities of the agricultural, industrial and technological parks, economic zones, the international transport corridors passing through our country, the possibility of Pakistan's joining to these projects, military, technical, energy, tourism and other spheres. He added that opportunities for mutual investment have increased.


Alizade responded to the question regarding the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan in the military field, saying that this area is a priority field in bilateral relations, both countries suffer from terrorism and extremism and have always supported each other. He stressed that Armenia occupied Azerbaijani territories and implemented a policy of ethnic cleansing, destruction of religious and cultural monuments and ignored the resolutions adopted by international organizations.


Touching upon the current situation in Pakistan, the ambassador said that progress is being observed in Pakistan and that the new government is implementing projects in the economic, social and humanitarian spheres, all of which contribute to the development of the country and that Azerbaijan is always with Pakistan.


Azerbaijan–Pakistan relations are considered to be of "strategic partners" nature.


The strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Pakistan has contributed to the cooperation in economic, trade, military-technical, energy, tourism and other spheres.


Azerbaijan took part at the international travel and tourism exhibition "Pakistan Travel Mart" that was held in Karachi in October 2018.


The promotion of tourism potential of Azerbaijan, simplification of visa regime for Pakistani citizens and the launch of the ASAN Visa system increased the number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan.


Compared to 2016, the number of Pakistani people who travel to Azerbaijan has increased six-fold in 2017.

In 2017, the number of Pakistani citizens, visiting Azerbaijan was between 20,000 – 25,000.


The number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan has increased by more than eight times over the past two years.


As many as 17,558 Pakistani tourists came in Azerbaijan in 2017, 3,998 in 2016, 2193 in 2015, and 1,817 tourists in 2014.


According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $8.34 million in January-September 2018. The bulk of the turnover fell on Pakistani exports to Azerbaijan. Compared to the same period of 2017, trade turnover has increased by 22.46 percent.


In 2017, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan amounted to $5.2 million. Around $402,470 of this amount accounted for export of Azerbaijan’s products to Pakistan, and $4.8 million accounted for import of Pakistani products to Azerbaijan.


Pakistan became the second country after Turkey that recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. The diplomatic relations between two countries were established on June 9, 1992.


Pakistan backed Azerbaijan during and after the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Pakistan fully supports Azerbaijan's fair position in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In 2012, Pakistan adopted a resolution strongly condemning the genocide against the civilian population of Khojaly, which was committed by Armenian armed forces. Then, in October 2013, the Senate adopted a document supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
 

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The delegation from the Astrakhan region, headed by the acting governor, Sergei Morozov, arrived in Kazan with a working visit on November 29.


The Astrakhan region of Russia, where the Iranian trading house and Azerbaijani business center are already actively working, is ready to help promote products from Tatarstan to the markets of the Caspian states, reports TASS with reference to Sergei Morozov.


"We offer Tatarstan access to foreign markets through the Astrakhan region. Iran’s trading house and the Azerbaijan business center are working in Astrakhan, and the Astrakhan business center is being built in Baku. Together with our Azerbaijani colleagues, we are planning to create a freight railway hub," Morozov said after signing an agreement on cooperation between the Astrakhan region and Tatarstan.


The acting governor drew attention to the fact that fabric, glass, automotive equipment, food come from the republic to the Astrakhan region. In turn, Astrakhan fish products, salt, gasoline, and diesel fuel are supplied to Tatarstan. The region is also ready to expand the range of these products at the expense of vegetables and watermelons. Another promising area for cooperation is the tourism industry.


“About 2.5 million Russian and foreign guests come to the region annually. The opening of air links between Astrakhan and Kazan will contribute to the growth of mutual tourist traffic,” added Morozov.


As part of the trip, an agreement on trade and economic, scientific and technical, social and cultural cooperation between the regions was also signed.


The interregional relations of Tatarstan and the Astrakhan region were based on the previously signed cooperation agreement in 2006. Regions have not only common economic interests, but also cultural ties. Astrakhan hosted federal Sabantuis twice - in 2008 and 2017, monuments to the Tatar poets Musa Jalil and Gabdulla Tukay were installed here, a newspaper in the Tatar language was published. The trade turnover between the regions is about half a billion rubles.


Azerbaijan is one of the main economic partners of Russia among the CIS countries. The trade turnover between two countries amounted to $2.14 billion in 2017. Azerbaijan invested more than $1 billion in the Russian economy, and Russia invested about $4 billion in the economy of Azerbaijan. This kind of cooperation plays an important role in the development of Russian-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations and in the increase of the trade turnover.


At present, enterprises of more than 70 regions of Russia cooperate directly with Azerbaijan. Fifteen regions of Russia have relevant agreements with Azerbaijan on trade and economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation
 

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India and Azerbaijan enjoy close and friendly relations and have an active cooperation between them in many areas including political, commercial and investment, educational and cultural.


Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev met Indian ambassador Sanjay Rana, who completed his diplomatic mission in Azerbaijan.


During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the current economic relations between Azerbaijan and India and opportunities for expanding cooperation.


Minister Mustafayev underlined the importance of bilateral cooperation with India, mutual visits and meetings in the development of relations, the importance of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation between Azerbaijan and India, informed about the projects implemented with the participation of Azerbaijan, transit opportunities, including the North-South international transport corridor.


Pointing out that about 170 Indian capital companies operating in Azerbaijan, the minister invited Indian businessmen to benefit from the favorable conditions created in industrial parks and neighborhoods created in our country and to organize joint ventures.


Rana noted that India attaches great importance to the development of relations with Azerbaijan and expressed his views on the development of Indian-Azerbaijani cooperation in the economic sphere.


Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.


Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries increased by more than 60 percent in 2017 and reached $ 550 million, which included around $ 100 million of Indian exports to Azerbaijan and about $ 450 million worth of Azerbaijani exports to India. Azerbaijan imports many goods from India including pharmaceuticals products, engineering goods, automobiles and spares, agricultural and meat products and IT services.


India's main import from Azerbaijan is crude oil. The volume of bilateral trade has significantly increased from about $ 50 million in 2005 to nearly $ 250 million in 2015 due to the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. Indian company ONGC-Videsh is a stakeholder in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil fields (2.72 percent) and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline (2.36 percent), acquired $ 1 billion worth of shares in these projects. India's GAIL Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding with SOCAR for the joint realization of the liquefied natural gas capacities through liquefied natural gas supplies and the global promotion of liquefied natural gas projects.


Azerbaijan and India are working to sign a Bilateral Investment Treaty and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement which would enhance the confidence of investors.


Indian companies are interested in developing mutually beneficial partnership in Azerbaijan, particularly in agriculture, IT and communications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and education. India and Azerbaijan are also cooperating in development of International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which will give big boost to trade and commercial exchanges in the region. India has developed the Chanbahar port in Iran, which began operating in November 2017, and this port will link Indian ports with Azerbaijan and other countries.


The 4th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation is scheduled to be held in October 2016 in Baku that would further provide a solid framework for their bilateral cooperation.


Azerbaijan is developing the non-oil sector and Indian companies are interested in using opportunities for non-oil sector development in such areas as agriculture, industry, pharmaceuticals and information technology.


India is very strong in pharmaceutical sector and our companies are keen to enhance their presence in Azerbaijan. Sun Pharma of India is building a pharmaceutical factory near Baku in a joint venture with Azerbaijani partners. Indian companies interested in many incentives provided by Azerbaijani Government for investors in Technology and Agro Parks.


India interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan's Small and Medium Business Development Agency and AZPROMO, and considers that sending the Azerbaijani export mission to India would be important for the development of relations in the economic sphere.


The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), which offers training programs for Indian professionals and students across India, is a collaborative effort to increase knowledge and skills between India and Azerbaijan.


Both India and Azerbaijan have started online visa issuance from 2017 which greatly helped in tourists' travel.


Recently, Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AZTA) and the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation during the international tourism fair SATTE 2018 in Delhi on February 3, 2018, that is of great importance.
 

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The State Road Agency of Ukraine (“Ukravtodor”) has signed a contract with the Azerbaijani AzVirt company regarding the repair of the section extending from Kyiv city to Kipty village in Chernigiv region of the M-01 Kyiv - Chernigiv - Novy Yarylovychi road, the press service of Ukravtodor said in the statement.


The cost of work will amount to 131.55 million euros, and the period of implementation of the repair work will be 730 days.


The scope of repair work includes the 18-kilometer section of the Brovary town’s bypass road (31.2 million euros), the 24-kilometer section extending to the administrative border with the Chernigiv region (47.1 million euros) and another 37-kilometer section extending to Kipty village (53.3 million euros), the message says.


The repair of sections of the M-01 road is carried out within the framework of the implementation of the Pan-European Corridor project, which is financed by the credit funds of the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
 

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Azerbaijan’s ATEF Group of Companies will supply dry-type transformers for four power units of Ukraine's Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, NAEK Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned company, said in a message.


As noted, such transformers for nuclear power plants aren’t produced in Ukraine.


Recently, Baku hosted the 74th council meeting of technical managers of nuclear power plants and other separate divisions of NAEK Energoatom. During the meeting, technical managers saw the production facilities of ATEF and familiarized themselves with the current and future opportunities of the companies in this group.


“ATEF manufactures next generation transformers using the latest technologies and modern equipment. The products are of high quality, therefore, such cooperation is quite interesting for NAEK Energoatom,” the message said.


As a result of the policy of economic reforms and diversification carried out in the country, great success has been achieved in the development of the industry and hundreds of modern industrial enterprises have been opened.


ATEF Group of Companies is one of the enterprises producing innovative and high technology based competitive products and has been working in the sphere of industry development of Azerbaijan in recent years.


ATEF was founded in 1961 to produce distribution transformers under the name of Baku Transformer Company. After privatization in 1997, company was reformed and invested in the production of cast-resin and Dry Type transformers.


ATEF Group of Companies is set to invest $160 million in 2018, including $5 million in the country and $155 million in foreign countries. During the implementation of projects in foreign countries, the company plans to export products worth $95 million. At present, the company is participating in tenders worth $100 million for the projects envisaged in foreign countries.


The products manufactured by the company are exported to Canada, South African Republic, Iraq, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and other countries.
 

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The joint service center of the “Helicopters of Russia” holding (part of the Rostec State Corporation) and the Azerbaijani Silk Way Helicopter Services commercial helicopter company has started operating, RIA Novosti reported.


The center has already repaired the Mi-8AMT helicopter, the center is currently working to increase its capacity, the Deputy General Director of "Helicopters of Russia" holding company for after-sale services Igor Chechikov said Sept. 27.


He noted that the training of personnel is also being conducted and the deliveries of new equipment are being planned.


"A year ago, our partners, the Azerbaijani side, have increased their capacity, so far it is the basic platform for field repairs. If further development is carried out, they can become a full-fledged service center for maintenance and repair," Chechikov added.


At the last ADEX-2016 exhibition, “Helicopters of Russia” signed an agreement with the Director General of Silk Way Helicopter Services company Azer Sultanov, on the establishment of a joint venture in Azerbaijan to service and repair Russian civil Mi-8/17 helicopters.


The Mi-8/17 helicopters are designed to operate in all climatic conditions, as they can be used in a wide range of ambient conditions and temperatures.
 

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Azerbaijan and TAI are in talks for cooperation in the aviation industry, and TAI is proposing their T625 helicopter with co-production for Azerbaijan's aviation industry
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Turkey and Azerbaijan, both effectively use their economic and energy capabilities, as well as the geopolitical position to expand bilateral and regional cooperation.


The Azerbaijani-Turkish joint commission on international road transport held its meeting in Izmir, Trend reports referring to the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan.


The meeting was chaired by head of the State Road Transport Service under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Habib Hasanov from the Azerbaijani side and head of the General Directorate of Road Transport Regulation of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey Mahmut Gurses from the Turkish side.


The purpose of the meeting was to further develop cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the field of international road transport, as well as the implementation of the requirements of bilateral agreements concluded between the two countries.


The meeting discussed the current situation in the field of international road transport between the two countries, the exchange of static data on trade relations and authorization forms used by road carriers of both countries, problems faced by road carriers in the implementation of freight and passenger transport, and ways to address them.


At the same time, the parties exchanged views on maintenance parity regarding the number of buses involved in passenger transportation on the Baku-Istanbul-Baku route, upcoming issues in connection with the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the discrepancy between the allowed weight of large-sized and heavy foreign vehicles traveling on public roads of Azerbaijan, and Article 211.2 of the Tax Code, simplifying procedures for obtaining visas by road carriers of both countries.


The subject of discussions, in particular, were the problems of the carriers of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic existing at the border checkpoint “Sederek-Diluju” while traveling to Georgia and other countries through Turkey, the number of quotas for authorization forms used for transportation in 2019, prospects for the development of transport and other topical issues.


Hasanov spoke about the large-scale reforms implemented in Azerbaijan in recent years in the field of transport, innovations in the road transport structure and major regional projects.


Following the discussions of aforementioned issues, as well as other topical issues on the agenda, a relevant protocol was signed between the delegations at the next meeting of the joint commission.


By 2017, 144.8 million tons of cargo and 1.7 billion passengers were transported by road. In 2017, revenues from road transportation totaled about 1.2 billion manat ($710,000 million).


Turkey is a partner in many strategic projects of Azerbaijan. Turkey was the first state to recognize Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and has been a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan in its efforts to consolidate its independence, preserve its territorial integrity and realize its economic potential arising from the rich natural resources of the Caspian Sea.


Two countries have gained good experience in the implementation of large-scale projects of international importance, which are well known in the region and the world. These are Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, TANAP, the Southern Gas Corridor and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.


All projects initiated by Azerbaijan and Turkey are implemented successfully and serve further development and well-being of two nations. The created infrastructure opens up opportunities for further increased freight traffic.
 

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Georgia imported more than 1.28 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in January-November 2018, the report of the Georgian Electricity System Commercial Operator (ESCO) said.


More than 1 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity imported by Georgia over this period accounted for Azerbaijan.


The volume of electricity imported by Georgia in November amounted to 219 million kWhr, 215.5 million kWh or 98 percent of which was supplied by Azerbaijan.


During the first eleven months of 2018, Georgia's electricity exports amounted to 588.6 million kWh, 23.1 million kWh of which were sent to Azerbaijan.


Recently, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed a memorandum on the prospects of Azerbaijani-Georgian power systems after discussion of the state of the power systems of Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as the construction of a 330 kW two-way (duplex) transmission line.


Azerenergy JSC is the main exporter of electric energy in Azerbaijan.


Azerbaijan exported 1.380 billion kWh of electricity worth $64.9 million, that is 444.7 million kWh of 47.55 percent more than in the previous year, according to the State Customs Committee (SCC). The electricity was sold at $0.047 or 0.0799 manats a kWh. Electricity export made up 0.42 percent of Azerbaijan’s total export.


Georgia is expected to double electricity imports per year. According to the forecast of Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgia will import more than 2.8 million kWh of electricity in 2019. The current import was 1.4 million kilowatt / hour. The maximum limit for imports in the next year is predicted to be 407.9 million kWh in March.


The creation of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey energy bridge will enable to integrate into the European electricity market in the future.


Georgia can join the European energy system through the submarine power line in the Black Sea. It is expected to implement line linking of Georgia with Bulgaria and Romania. More than $ 3 billion will be spent on construction. In this case, Georgia will be connected to the European energy grid, that means Azerbaijan will also be able to supply electricity to Europe.


Bilateral diplomatic relations between Baku and Tbilisi are manifested in the various fields particularly trade, transport and energy since 1992.


The two countries broadly cooperate in regional energy development, transportation and economic partnership projects such as Southern Gas Corridor, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway (BTK), the TRACECA, and the BSEC.


SOCAR also is deeply involved in the energy market in Georgia which was established in 2006. The company's activity includes retail and bulk selling of fuel in Georgia, importing of petroleum and liquid gas, construction of oil terminals and warehouses. At present, there are over 70 filling stations operating in the country.
 

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A new offshore platform No. 12 was commissioned at the Bulla-Deniz field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea on December 24, Azerbaijani state-owned company SOCAR reported.


Construction of the platform began in 2017 with the trust “Neftqaztikinti”. As noted, one prospecting and four production wells with an average depth of 6,300 meters will be drilled from the platform. A new offshore platform No. 12 was commissioned at the Bulla-Deniz field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea on December 24, Azerbaijani state-owned company SOCAR reported.


It is planned to produce 2.5 million cubic meters of gas and 500 tons of condensate from these wells every day.


SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev noted that within 11 months SOCAR managed to increase production levels.


“New platforms, like the “Bulla Deniz-12”, built on the basis of modern technologies, will ensure the sustainability of our success. We are proud that we can build and install platforms that meet the highest engineering and technological requirements on our own. This suggests that SOCAR was formed as a modern global company in all areas,” said Abdullayev.


Bulla Deniz field is located 10 kilometers south-east of the Sangachal-Duvanny-Khara-Zira field. The operator of the development is SOCAR.
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