Baku, Moscow seek boosted economic ties
Prospects to boost the Azerbaijani-Russian economic relations were thoroughly mulled in Baku, as the capital hosted the business forum on June 20, with participation of about 200 companies engaged in light, heavy and food industries, as well as finance, energy, transport, commerce, engineering, health and other areas.
Azerbaijan’s Deputy Economy Minister Niyazi Safarov, addressing the event, stated that Russia has invested $3 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy in total. Safarov mentioned that more than 600 enterprises operating with Russian capital have been registered in Azerbaijan.
“More than $235 million of the total volume of Russian investments were invested in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan, and $ 2.8 billion were invested in the oil sector. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has invested over one billion dollars in the Russian economy. Russian companies are also contractors of 10 projects implemented through public investment,” he said.
Safarov went on noting that over 170 agreements were signed between the two countries, more than 50 of which were inked in economic field.
Russia continues to be one of the main trade partners of Azerbaijan, according to the deputy minister, who emphasized that in the past four months of 2016, Russia takes the second place in the turnover of Azerbaijan, and first place in the import and 10th place in export.
”In 2015, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $1.9 billion, some $1.5 billion of which fell to import and $0.4 billion to exports. In January-April 2016 the trade turnover between the countries amounted to $470 million,” he said.
During the bilateral business forum Azerbaijan and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing pharmaceutical production in Azerbaijan. The document was signed by Azerbaijan’s Vita-A company, Russian R-Pharm and Azerbaijan Investment Company.
The event also saw signing of several other documents : a memorandum of cooperation between Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and All-Russia business association “Delovaya Rossiya" (Business Russia), a memorandum on promotion of investment projects in industrial and agricultural sectors both in Moscow (Victoria Industrial Park) and in Azerbaijan, between AZPROMO and Victoria Estate Management LLC, a memorandum of cooperation between AZPROMO and Bank VTB (Azerbaijan).
Azerbaijan and Russia are tied by firmly based ties, which were officially established in 1992. The Azerbaijani-Russian cooperation is completely based on the principles of mutual respect and good neighborly relations. The cultural relations between the two countries are also highly evaluated.
Russia and Azerbaijan established an active and productive dialogue on many important issues in the foreign economic and political agenda.
The southern neighbor is one of the largest importers of Azerbaijani agro-products. The country exports fruits, vegetables and melons to Russia.
After the deterioration of relations with Turkey, Russia’s demand in Azerbaijani agro-products increased. Azerbaijan has entered the top 3 suppliers of agricultural products to Russia among the CIS countries, after Moscow imposed anti-Turkish sanctions.