Azer­bai­jan, UK eye to ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion

Azer News - - Front Page - By Narmina Mam­madova

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.

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