Ital­ian of­fi­cial: Azer­bai­jan has ob­tained im­pres­sive achieve­ments

Azer News - - Nation - By Narmina Mam­madova

Azer­bai­jani For­eign Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov held a meet­ing with At­tilio Fon­tana, the pres­i­dent of the Lom­bardy Re­gion of Italy in the frame­work of his visit to Mi­lan.

Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov marked the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion in the re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Italy over the last years.

He re­called the of­fi­cial visit of the Ital­ian Pres­i­dent Ser­gio Mattarella to Azer­bai­jan in July of this year and ne­go­ti­a­tions held with the Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev.

The min­is­ter men­tioned the open­ing of the Poly­mer Plant con­structed by the Maire Tec­n­i­mont Com­pany in the frame­work of “SOCAR Poly­mer” project within Sum­gait Chem­i­cal In­dus­trial Park with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of both of the Pres­i­dents.

Speak­ing about the devel­op­ment strat­egy of Azer­bai­jan, pri­or­ity devel­op­ment direc­tions, re­gional and glob­ally im­por­tant projects of Azer­bai­jan, in­clud­ing the lead­ing role of the coun­try in re­al­iza­tion of the South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor, Mam­mad­yarov in­vited At­tilio Fon­tana to­gether with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of eco­nomic and sci­en­tific-aca­demic cir­cles of the re­gion to Azer­bai­jan in or­der to get bet­ter ac­quainted with the coun­try and dis­cuss the co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in var­i­ous fields.

The pres­i­dent of the re­gion of Lom­bardy At­tilio Fon­tana, in turn, said that Azer­bai­jan has ob­tained im­pres­sive achieve­ments dur­ing the last years

“Tak­ing into ac­count the high level sci­en­tific-tech­no­log­i­cal po­ten­tial of Lom­bardy, the devel­op­ment of re­la­tions be­tween the higher ed­u­ca­tion and sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tu­tions of both sides would be ben­e­fi­cial,” he pointed out.

Bi­lat­eral ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion ex­ists in all ar­eas, in­clud­ing the eco­nomic area, and Italy is the main trade part­ner of Azer­bai­jan.

It was un­der­lined that many Ital­ian com­pa­nies are op­er­at­ing in Azer­bai­jan, co­op­er­a­tion ex­ists with the big­gest Ital­ian com­pa­nies like Saipem, Eni, Snam, Maire Tec­n­i­mont whose head­quar­ters are lo­cated in Lom­bardy, as well as the ex­is­tence of di­rect flight be­tween Mi­lan and Baku is im­por­tant from the point of de­vel­op­ing re­la­tions be­tween the two states in the sphere of tourism. Tak­ing into ac­count the cru­cial role that the Lom­bardy Re­gion plays in eco­nomic and cul­tural life of Italy, cer­ti­tude was ex­pressed on ad­di­tional con­tri­bu­tion this re­gion would make in fur­ther devel­op­ment of Azer­bai­jan-Italy re­la­tions.

Diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two states were es­tab­lished in 1992.

Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions con­tinue to grow and ex­pand in a num­ber of direc­tions. Ac­com­pa­nied by a solid con­sol­i­da­tion of the po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue, bi­lat­eral eco­nomic re­la­tions have fur­ther strength­ened fol­low­ing the sign­ing of a Joint Dec­la­ra­tion for the es­tab­lish­ment of an Ital­ian-Azer­bai­jani Coun­cil for Eco­nomic, In­dus­trial and Fi­nan­cial in 2004.

Italy, as the main im­porter of crude oil and oil prod­ucts from Azer­bai­jan, has be­come the largest trad­ing part­ner of the coun­try. Italy ranks first in terms of its share in the Azer­bai­jani ex­ports. In 2017, Italy ac­counted for more than half of trade with the EU coun­tries ($4.7 bil­lion).

Baku and Rome are strate­gic part­ners in the en­ergy sec­tor. Italy, whose scanty nat­u­ral re­sources tra­di­tion­ally make the coun­try de­pen­dent on im­port has been a key part­ner for Baku. Since 1999, Italy has be­gun to re­ceive a large part of Azer­bai­jani oil ex­ported through the Baku - Supsa pipe­line and then through the Baku - Jey­han. This made Italy the num­ber one part­ner for Azer­bai­jan and this po­si­tion is main­tained un­til to­day.

More­over, Italy sup­ports the devel­op­ment of the Shah Deniz 2 field, with fur­ther ex­port of the nat­u­ral gas from the field to Europe via the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line (TAP).

Ital­ian busi­ness cir­cles in Azer­bai­jan are mak­ing large in­vest­ments and are tak­ing part in a num­ber of projects of in­ter­na­tional im­por­tance. As many as 95 Ital­ian com­pa­nies have been reg­is­tered in Azer­bai­jan and are con­trac­tors in 41 projects.

The pri­or­ity tar­get of Ital­ian in­vest­ments in Azer­bai­jan is con­struc­tion sec­tor. The Ital­ian pres­ence is strength­en­ing in the in­te­rior de­sign in­dus­try, the ho­tel in­fra­struc­ture, the agro-wine divi­sion and the bank­ing sec­tor. Cur­rently, the work is un­der­way on devel­op­ment of a draft new agree­ment on the pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of in­vest­ments be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Italy, a joint ac­tion plan pro­vid­ing for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries in the fields of en­ergy, in­fra­struc­ture, lo­gis­tics, rail­way, agro-in­dus­trial com­plex, petro­chem­i­cal in­dus­try and other ar­eas. Azer­bai­jan re­mains an ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing mar­ket for Ital­ian busi­ness­men.

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