Il­ham Aliyev: Ad­di­tional mea­sures re­quired to fos­ter eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion with Rus­sia

Azer News - - Front Page - By Aygul Sal­manova

Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion Maxim Oreshkin paid a work­ing visit to Azer­bai­jan, dur­ing which the par­tic­i­pants dis­cussed the cur­rent state and prospects of trade and eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

Within the visit, Oreshkin at­tended the en­larged meet­ing of the Rus­sian-Azer­bai­jani and Azer­bai­jani Rus­sian busi­ness coun­cils and the open­ing of the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice of REC in Azer­bai­jan.

At first the Rus­sian min­is­ter was re­ceived by Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev, who em­pha­sized that bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Rus­sia are suc­cess­fully de­vel­op­ing in all spheres, and noted the im­por­tance of tak­ing ad­di­tional mea­sures to fur­ther ex­pand eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and in­crease trade turnover. The Pres­i­dent ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the growth of Azer­bai­jani ex­ports to Rus­sia.

The head of state said that the visit of Maxim Oreshkin to Azer­bai­jan cre­ates a good op­por­tu­nity to con­sider the is­sue of ex­pand­ing the two coun­tries’ im­port and ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The Rus­sian min­is­ter noted with sat­is­fac­tion the growth of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from Azer­bai­jan by 60 per­cent.

Say­ing that even in the Soviet pe­riod, Rus­sian con­sumers re­ceived qual­ity agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from Azer­bai­jan, Oreshkin noted that this growth was per­ceived by Rus­sians as good news.

He added that Rus­sia made a de­ci­sion on the en­try of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts of 14 more Azer­bai­jani com­pa­nies to its mar­kets.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, the im­por­tance of the In­ter­na­tional North South Trans­port Cor­ri­dor for both coun­tries was em­pha­sized.

Mean­while, the dy­namic growth in trade re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries was noted, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties of co­op­er­a­tion in the ar­eas of mu­tual in­vest­ments, tourism and tran­sit trans­port were dis­cussed.

Rus­sian Ex­port Cen­ter ap­pears in Azer­bai­jan

The open­ing cer­e­mony of Rus­sian Ex­port Cen­ter (REC) of­fice in Baku, an ad­di­tional pow­er­ful mean as­sist­ing growth of trade turnover be­tween the two coun­tries, was held on De­cem­ber 25. It is REC`s fifth of­fice world­wide af­ter Iran, Kaza­khstan, Ta­jik­istan and Viet­nam.

Ad­dress­ing the event, Azer­bai­jani Econ­omy Min­is­ter Shahin Mustafayev said that open­ing of the REC of­fice in Baku will fos­ter de­vel­op­ment of trade turnover be­tween Rus­sia and Azer­bai­jan.

The min­is­ter stressed that the re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Rus­sia dy­nam­i­cally de­velop in all spheres - po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and hu­man­i­tar­ian ones.

“As for the eco­nomic sphere, I should note that the trade turnover and the vol­ume of mu­tual in­vest­ment be­tween our coun­tries are steadily grow­ing,” he said. “We con­stantly ap­ply new tools, and the open­ing of the REC of­fice in Azer­bai­jan is one of such tools. Be­sides, it is nec­es­sary to note the open­ing of the trade rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Azer­bai­jan in Rus­sia and the fact that this is the first Azer­bai­jani trade rep­re­sen­ta­tion in a for­eign coun­try. This once again shows the part­ner­ship level be­tween our coun­tries.”

In turn, Rus­sian Min­is­ter for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Mak­sim Oreshkin noted that trade be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Rus­sia is grow­ing suc­cess­fully, and there­fore, all the tools that will fos­ter this growth are very im­por­tant.

“The REC of­fice in Azer­bai­jan will also help us cre­ate joint pro­duc­tion chains and value chains, and both Azer­bai­jan and Rus­sia will ben­e­fit from this,” said Oreshkin.

Speak­ing at the event, head of the REC Group Peter Frad­kov stressed that the port­fo­lio vol­ume of the REC on the sup­port of Rus­sian com­pa­nies in Azer­bai­jan amounted to al­most $500 mil­lion, adding that the open­ing of a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Azer­bai­jan is very im­por­tant for the REC.

He went on to say that the funds of the REC were al­lo­cated for projects in var­i­ous spheres of the econ­omy, in­clud­ing rail­way engi­neer­ing and trans­port projects, as well as sup­port of in­vest­ments in Azer­bai­jan.

“At the same time, we un­der­stand that there is much greater po­ten­tial for co­op­er­a­tion. There­fore, the open­ing of this of­fice shows that we will con­tinue sup­port­ing not only large com­pa­nies, but also small and medium-sized en­ter­prises,” he added.

REC is a state in­sti­tu­tion sup­port­ing non-re­source ex­ports, pro­vid­ing Rus­sian ex­porters with a wide range of fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial sup­port mea­sures.

The mis­sion of the REC is to sup­port and de­velop non-re­source ex­ports through par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic pol­icy and the cre­ation of a sin­gle ef­fec­tive de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tu­tion.

Busi­ness coun­cils’ meet­ing

Later on, Azer­bai­jani-Rus­sian and Rus­sian-Azer­bai­jani busi­ness coun­cils held an ex­panded meet­ing, which brought to­gether of­fi­cials, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in in­dus­try, con­struc­tion, bank­ing, food, me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing, me­tal­lurgy, trans­port, and phar­macy.

At the meet­ing, Econ­omy Min­is­ter Shahin Mustafayev em­pha­sized the high level of Azer­bai­jani-Rus­sian re­la­tions and the level of strate­gic part­ner­ship, the im­por­tance of mu­tual vis­its of the heads of state in the ex­pan­sion of co­op­er­a­tion. Speak­ing about the eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Rus­sia, Mustafayev noted that Rus­sia is one of the key trade part­ners of Azer­bai­jan and trade re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries are de­vel­op­ing dy­nam­i­cally in 2017.

Azer­bai­jan at­taches spe­cial im­por­tance to the de­vel­op­ment of eco­nomic ties in Rus­sia, and from this point of view it is very im­por­tant to use new mech­a­nisms to ex­pand trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, he noted.

Presently, Rus­sia is one of the main trade part­ners of Azer­bai­jan, he said, adding that Rus­sia ranks third in the over­all com­mod­ity turnover as well as in terms of im­ports, and first in Azer­bai­jan’s nonoil ex­port.

“This is a good in­di­ca­tor, but it is nec­es­sary to use new mech­a­nisms for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of trade be­tween our coun­tries,” he noted. “We are al­ready ap­ply­ing var­i­ous mech­a­nisms, in­clud­ing the open­ing of the Azer­bai­jani busi­ness cen­ter in As­trakhan city and the es­tab­lish­ment of the As­trakhan busi­ness cen­ter in Azer­bai­jan, as well as to­day’s open­ing of the Rus­sian Ex­port Cen­ter’s of­fice in Baku.”

Mustafayev also noted the high vol­ume of mu­tual in­vest­ments be­tween the two coun­tries, stress­ing that the vol­ume of Azer­bai­jani in­vest­ments in Rus­sia ex­ceeded $1 bil­lion. In ad­di­tion, more than 700 com­pa­nies with Rus­sian cap­i­tal op­er­ate in Azer­bai­jan.

Pos­i­tively as­sess­ing the work of busi­ness coun­cils, Mustafayev called on the Azer­bai­jani-Rus­sian and Rus­sian-Azer­bai­jani busi­ness coun­cils to hold dis­cus­sions with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of AZPROMO and sim­i­lar Rus­sian struc­tures to es­tab­lish con­crete co­op­er­a­tion. He noted that the cre­ation of joint ven­tures in in­dus­trial parks of Azer­bai­jan, co­op­er­a­tion in the field of oil engi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts for the Rus­sian mar­ket are ex­am­ples of such co­op­er­a­tion.

While mak­ing re­marks at the event, Oreshkin said that Rus­sia’s in­vest­ments into Azer­bai­jan have reached $1.5 bil­lion.

The min­is­ter stressed the high po­ten­tial of eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

“This is a pos­i­tive fact that the vol­ume of mu­tual in­vest­ments be­tween the two coun­tries is grow­ing,” he said. “Rus­sia’s in­vest­ments into Azer­bai­jan have al­ready reached $1.5 bil­lion. Azer­bai­jan is also ac­tively in­vest­ing in Rus­sia.”

Oreshkin added that the two coun­tries have achieved great progress in solv­ing many is­sues.

“A week ago, 14 Azer­bai­jani com­pa­nies re­ceived per­mis­sion for the sup­ply of toma­toes to the Rus­sian mar­ket,” he said. “The ca­pac­ity of these com­pa­nies is more than 60,000 tons, so we ex­pect big vol­umes to be sup­plied to Rus­sia.”

“Both sides have out­lined di­rec­tions for fur­ther work and they will con­tinue to work in this di­rec­tion with the aim of di­ver­si­fy­ing the Azer­bai­jani and Rus­sian economies,” the min­is­ter said.

The min­is­ter also stressed the pos­si­bil­ity of joint ex­port of both Rus­sian and Azer­bai­jani prod­ucts to the mar­kets of third coun­tries.

Then, a cer­e­mony of sign­ing a num­ber of mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) be­tween the Azer­bai­jani and Rus­sian com­pa­nies was held.

Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev re­ceived a del­e­ga­tion led by Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion Maxim Oreshkin.

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