By Sara Israfilbayova
The German delegation led by chairman of Germany’s Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, Wolfgang Buechele, paid an official visit to Baku on February 13.
The delegation included representatives of such German companies as GP Gunter Papenburg AG, Herrenknecht AG, Uniper Global Commodities SE, Airbus Group International, CLAAS Global Sales GmbH.
During the meeting with the delegation, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov noted that the economic relations in the non-oil sector are developing and stressed that a large share of Germany’s trade with the countries of the South Caucasus accounts for Azerbaijan.
At the meeting, the German companies engaged in production of drilling equipment and laying underground gas pipelines expressed interest in cooperation with Azerbaijan.
Buechele, in turn, stressed the need to create favorable conditions for expanding cooperation in the economy, and in particular in the energy sector.
Further, the country’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev received the delegation.
Addressing the meeting he said that operation of German companies in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is unacceptable. Azerbaijan informed the German side about the companies that illegally operate in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In turn, Buechele noted that he will study this issue and will inform the Azerbaijani side about this.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Further, the Azerbaijani Economy Minister suggested German companies to create a joint venture within the framework of the petrochemical project SOCAR Polymer.
At the first stage, the production capacity of SOCAR Polymer will be 120,000 tons of polyethylene and 180,000 tons of polypropylene.
By 2021, the total capacity can reach 570,000 tons of products. It is expected that around SOCAR Polymer an industrial cluster will be formed and additional enterprises will be created which will produce their products on the basis of SOCAR Polymer products.
Speaking of bilateral cooperation, the minister noted that to date, Germany’s investments in the Azerbaijani economy have reached $555.8 million. More than 200 companies with German capital work in Azerbaijan.
Germany ranks the 5th among Azerbaijan’s partners in trade turnover.
The minister went on to say that both countries have ample opportunities for cooperation in pharmaceuticals, engineering, petrochemicals, transport, transit transport, as well as joint production of electrical equipment and agricultural machinery.
To date, 70 documents on the promotion and protection of investment in the economic sphere and the elimination of double taxation have been signed between the countries.
Mustafayev invited German companies to invest in industrial zones in Azerbaijan, take advantage of the country’s transit possibilities and invest in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in the settlement of Alat in the Garadagh district of Baku.
Moreover, during the meeting it was noted that representative offices of German hospitals may appear in Azerbaijan.
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