By Amina Nazarli
Baku and Kiev intend to strengthen their trade ties, and in this connection an Azerbaijani business delegation led by Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev visits Ukraine, where he has already met with the country’s officials.
The talks in Kiev covered cooperation issues in such spheres as agriculture, investments as well as opening of enterprises in Ukraine.
Holding a meeting with Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Kutovyi, Mustafayev said that Azerbaijan considers it promising to partake in agriculture investment projects in Ukraine.
He voiced the Azerbaijani side’s interest in increasing trade turnover with Ukraine. This includes imports of sunflower oil, grains, soya, corn, meat, chocolate from Ukraine and export of vegetables, hazelnuts, wine, tea and other products to the country, he said.
Kutovyi, in turn, said systematic development of mutually beneficial trade and economic relations in agriculture and increase in turnover are of great importance to Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
"Ukraine is a powerful player in the system of global food security. Agro-industrial complex of our country is increasing not only production, but also exports of products. I believe there are all the prerequisites for the growth of the Ukraine-Azerbaijan trade turnover," Kutovyi said.
The minister briefed the Azerbaijani delegation on the course of reforms in Ukraine, state support of farmers, land reforms, privatization of state enterprises, provision of sanitary requirements, and development of the organic market.
He added that products of the Ukrainian farmers are getting increasingly popular in foreign markets and this indicates their high quality and competitiveness.
During the meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groysman, the parties agreed to expand interstate cooperation in various fields.
Among the most promising areas of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani cooperation, Groysman and Mustafayev highlighted the opening of the Trade House in Kiev, which will stimulate trade between the two countries and increase the flow of Azerbaijani investments to Ukraine.
"Azerbaijan has its own proposal and decision in order to stimulate the growth of exports to Ukraine and the growth of investments to Ukraine. Azerbaijan is ready to create a Trade House in Kiev, Ukraine," Mustafayev said.
The minister also noted that Azerbaijan is interested in creating joint machine-building enterprises with Ukraine and enhancing interstate cooperation in agriculture, chemical industry and tourism.
Mustafayev added that Azerbaijan would like to create such an enterprise in Ukraine that will produce construction mixes. In addition, the country would like to adopt the experience of Ukraine in the field of engineering.
Groysman, for his part, said it's nice to note that today Azerbaijan considers Ukraine quite positively from the point of view of investments.
“We have your companies that work in the country, I would say that they are doing their job qualitatively and we are glad that we can deepen our cooperation," the Ukrainian Prime Minister stressed.
Azerbaijan is one of the main trade partners of Ukraine among the CIS countries. Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Ukraine amounted to $334.18 million in 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.