Azerbaijan, UK eye to expand cooperation
The UK companies continue to look at opportunities in a number of sectors in Azerbaijan, the Head of Trade and Investments Department of the UK Embassy in Baku, Steve Smith, told Trend.
He underlined that the UK is Azerbaijan’s leading investor and there are currently some 523 British companies operating in the country, primarily in the oil and gas sector, but also in mining, construction, financial services, retail, fashion and healthcare.
Smith stressed that real progress is being made in a number of mentioned spheres.
"This includes encouraging collaboration between Azercosmos and the UK Space Agency, ASAN and the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS), planned ministerial visits to the UK covering agriculture and healthcare, and more cooperation in education and environmental matters," he noted.
Smith said that the British ambassador is leading a very active policy to help Azerbaijan eradicate single-use plastics and to develop a greener, more low-carbon economy.
Further, he emphasized that economic cooperation between the UK and Azerbaijan is very strong and the sides enjoy rich and close relationship that spans many years.
The United Kingdom recognized the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 26, 1991. The diplomatic relations between two countries were established on March 11, 1992. The British Embassy was opened in Baku in September 1993 and the Azerbaijani Embassy in London in January 1994.
The cooperation in the energy sector is currently the key factor of the bilateral economic relations between the two countries. Azerbaijan cooperates with the United Kingdom in the field of exploration and transportation of oil and natural gas from the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. BP as a leading oil company, which has launched its operations in Azerbaijan in 1992, participates in the main production sharing agreements such as the “Contract of Century” (Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli) and the Shah Deniz project. It is actively involved in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) projects.
Earlier, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said that the UK is the biggest investor in Azerbaijan’s economy.
So far, the UK has invested over $27 billion in the economy of Azerbaijan.
In January-October 2018, trade turnover between the countries amounted to $455.59 million, of which $257.4 million accounted for exports from Azerbaijan. It means, that the trade turnover increased by 56 percent, compared to the same period last year.