Azerbaijan offers UK to sign deal in agricultural field

By Nazrin Gadimova

Azerbaijan offered the UK to sign an agreement on cooperation in the agricultural field, as Agriculture Minister Ismet Abbasov received newly appointed British Ambassador to Baku Irfan Siddig on September 26, Azerbaijan's Agriculture Ministry reported.

During the meeting, the minister emphasized successful cooperation between the two countries, as well as with the EU countries.

"Currently, the British companies engaged in the production of vegetables, which have played a role in the application of modern technology in our country, successfully operate in Azerbaijan," Abbasov said. "To extend this cooperation to other areas of agriculture it would be appropriate to sign a document on cooperation between the two countries with a view to create long-term legal framework in the field of agricultural cooperation."

The sides also mulled the possibilities of export of fruits, vegetables and fruit juices from Azerbaijan to the UK, exchange of experience in the production of environmentally friendly products, as well as the possibility of cooperation in the field of agricultural researches and education.

Since 1992 Azerbaijan and the UK benefit from close bilateral partnership and cooperation in the framework of international organizations such as the United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO, etc. The relations have covered a wide range of issues -- from high-level political dialogue to growing trade and investment links, as well as strengthening cultural and humanitarian ties.

In 2011 the UK was the 15th largest trade partner of Azerbaijan with the trade turnover of more than $501 million. The UK still remains the largest foreign investor in Azerbaijan with about 300 British companies operating in the country, including GBI International, the British Bank of the Middle East and Sedgwick.