By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan is one of five main economic partners of Germany, Michael Kindsgrab, Ambassador of Germany to Azerbaijan, said in Baku on October 3.
The diplomat said Azerbaijan is the most important partner of Germany in the South Caucasus and alongside other European courtiers, Germany also use the country’s oil and gas.
Germany supports Azerbaijan’s efforts in diversification of its economy, he added.
“The global economic crisis had an impact on economic cooperation between the two countries, but German companies are interested in supporting Azerbaijan’s economy in the future,” Kindsgrab said.
The ambassador also informed about a regular meeting of Germany-Azerbaijan working group to take place in Berlin, which will discuss further projects between the countries.
Kindsgrab added that a business forum will be held between Germany and Azerbaijan with participation of numerous German companies in 2017.
Earlier, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Germany Ramin Hasanov told Trend that transit, transport and logistics opportunities of Azerbaijan may be put on the agenda of the negotiations of the Forum, after which the interest in cooperation in this field will grow further.
Today, German companies are showing interest in the free trade zone and industrial parks, being created in Azerbaijan. A free trade zone is being created in Alat settlement of the Garadagh district in Baku. The new Baku International Sea Trade Port is also included in the free trade zone.
Since industrial parks are one of the most important factors supporting positive economy development, Azerbaijan so far established five of them namely, the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park, Balakhani, Garadagh, Mingachevir and Pirallahi industrial parks.
Azerbaijan’s share in Germany’s trade turnover with the countries of the South Caucasus was around 70 percent in the first half of 2017, according to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with Germany in January to June 2017 amounted to 715 million euros, 577 million euros of which accounted for the exports to Germany.
Although the main share of Azerbaijani exports accounts for oil and oil products, the country also considers Germany as a strategic market for the export of non-oil, in particular agricultural and industrial products. In turn, Azerbaijan imports pharmaceutical products, building materials, chemical products, equipment.
Over the past 20 years, German companies have invested about $500 million in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan. About 170 German companies operate in Azerbaijan.