Azer­bai­jan, Nether­lands seek­ing to link each other’s ports

Azer News - - Nation - By Trend

Trade turnover be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Nether­lands is ex­pected to grow in 2018 due to the ex­pan­sion of bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in agri­cul­ture and en­ergy sec­tors.

“There are a num­ber of trade op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Nether­lands. Azer­bai­jan cur­rently aims at di­ver­si­fy­ing its econ­omy, and agri­cul­ture is one of the key driv­ers of this process. The Nether­lands has rich agri­cul­tural tra­di­tion, being one of the strong­est agri­cul­tural coun­tries in the world, and sec­ond largest ex­porter of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts af­ter the United States, so there is a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence that we can share with Azer­bai­jan,” Dutch Am­bas­sador to Azer­bai­jan Onno Kervers told Trend.

He added that Azer­bai­jan also works on devel­op­ment of en­ergy sec­tor, and par­tic­u­larly, of oil and gas projects, and there are many Dutch com­pa­nies com­ing to Azer­bai­jan and ex­press­ing will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate in such projects.

“In gen­eral, there are of course many spheres that our coun­tries may ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion in, but cur­rently the im­ple­men­ta­tion of en­ergy and agri­cul­ture projects re­mains the main driver of in­creas­ing trade turnover be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Nether­lands," said the am­bas­sador.

The am­bas­sador said that the two coun­tries are co­op­er­at­ing on devel­op­ment of the Baku Sea Trade Port and its con­nec­tion with the Dutch ports.

“Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of spe­cific hubs in the Nether­lands study the ways to share ex­per­tise and would like to study the pos­si­bil­i­ties of con­nec­tiv­ity to­gether with the port of Alat. Presently they work on cre­ation of the Nether­lands-Azer­bai­jan busi­ness hub, try­ing to link the port Alat with the Dutch Green­port and port of Venlo,” he said.

He stressed that the large part of the project de­pends on con­nec­tion be­tween the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties of the two coun­tries, with­out ex­ces­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion of the gov­ern­ments.

“We con­duct freight flights be­tween Baku and Maas­tricht many times a week, and we see the necessity in the ex­pan­sion of the ex­ist­ing trade links,” said Kervers.

Touch­ing upon the busi­ness meet­ings on co­op­er­a­tion of ports be­tween the two coun­tries, the am­bas­sador said that a del­e­ga­tion from the Azer­bai­jani Alat port visited the Dutch Green­port and port of Venlo in April 2018, fol­low­ing the visit of Dutch lo­gis­tics ex­perts to Azer­bai­jan, when the sides mapped spe­cific options and op­por­tu­ni­ties for the con­nec­tion of ports.

Sec­ond phase of agri­cul­ture project to start

The first phase of the joint project of the Nether­lands and Azer­bai­jan on devel­op­ment of agri­cul­tural map for Azer­bai­jan’s re­gions was im­ple­mented with a big suc­cess, said the Dutch am­bas­sador.

“There was an ex­ten­sive map­ping of all the agri­cul­tural pos­si­bil­i­ties, in­clud­ing grow­ing crops, cli­mate, soil, ir­ri­ga­tion, eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity, etc. We were work­ing closely with Azer­bai­jan’s in­sti­tu­tions to see if we can im­ple­ment the sec­ond phase of this project, and de­cided to launch it in the sec­ond half of 2018,” said Kervers.

He added that the sec­ond phase of the men­tioned project will be more prac­ti­cal.

“We par­tic­u­larly in­tend to study and im­ple­ment the con­struc­tion of spe­cial farms in dif­fer­ent re­gions of Azer­bai­jan af­ter fin­ish­ing pre­lim­i­nary as­sess­ment within the project. That will be a start of the sec­ond phase, which I hope will be sup­ported by dif­fer­ent in­sti­tu­tions and Azer­bai­jani com­pa­nies. The sec­ond phase of the project will start within nearly three months,” said the am­bas­sador.

He stressed that the first stage of the project on devel­op­ment of agri­cul­tural map for Azer­bai­jani re­gions al­lowed the sides to group a big amount of data on agri­cul­tural pos­si­bil­i­ties of the re­gions, and to make it dig­i­tally avail­able, which may be con­sid­ered as the unique as­pect of the project.

“New stud­ies and the ex­ist­ing data are com­bined to a new model that ev­ery­body can use. That was the big­gest achieve­ment of the first phase of our joint agri­cul­tural project,” said Kervers.

Trade turnover be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Nether­lands in Jan­uaryApril 2018 amounted to $51.1 mil­lion. Ex­port of Azer­bai­jani prod­ucts to the Nether­lands amounted to $27.2 mil­lion; im­ports from the Nether­lands to Azer­bai­jan, in turn, amounted to $23.9 mil­lion.

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