By Sara Israfilbayova
The U.S. has invested more than $13 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy, of which more than $1 billion has been invested in the country’s non-oil sector.
Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev made the remarks at the meeting with Brian McFeeters, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs on September 8.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has allocated $350 million for the implementation of a number of projects in Azerbaijan.
“Currently, 240 American companies operate in the sphere of industry, construction, communications, banking sector and other areas of Azerbaijani economy. The U.S. is one of the main foreign trade partners of Azerbaijan. The trade turnover between the countries for January-June 2018 amounted to $476.1 million,” Mustafayev said.
The minister noted during the meeting that the relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S. are developing, the successful cooperation is being carried out in the spheres of economy, energy, transport, education, agriculture, security, fight against terrorism and other spheres. It was noted that the necessary legal framework exists for the development of cooperation between the two countries.
In the framework of the “Socio-Economic Development Activity” (SEDA) project jointly funded by the Government of Azerbaijan and USAID, the feed processing plant has begun to operate in the Jojug Marjanli village of Jabrayil region.
The minister noted that one of the priorities of Azerbaijan’s economy is the development of the non-oil sector and there are ample opportunities for investment in industry, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, trade, transport, etc.
He went on to say that the U.S. has the great experience in the field of small and medium-sized businesses and added that the Agency for Small and Medium Business Development has been established in Azerbaijan.
In turn, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, noting the purpose of the visit to the country i.e. the participation in the Azerbaijan Competitiveness Forum, expressed satisfaction with the organization of the Forum at a high level, the participation of American companies in its work.
McFeeters also said that the U.S. welcomes the work done in the field of diversification of the non-oil sector, the development of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan. He noted that the American companies are also interested in expanding cooperation in agriculture, tourism, alternative energy and other fields.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan in 1992, following its independence from the Soviet Union. Together, the two countries work to promote European energy security, expand bilateral trade and investment, and combat terrorism and transnational threats.
The U.S. is committed to strengthening democracy and promoting economic diversification in Azerbaijan.
The two sides have a Trade Relations Agreement and a Bilateral Investment Treaty. The governments periodically convene the U.S.-Azerbaijan Economic Partnership Commission to discuss bilateral cooperation to promote trade and investment.
The U.S. has long supported Azerbaijan’s efforts to develop and export its energy resources to Western markets, and crude oil is the single largest import from Azerbaijan. U.S. companies are involved in offshore oil development projects in Azerbaijan, export aircraft and heavy machinery to Azerbaijan, and have been exploring emerging trade and investment opportunities in agriculture, telecommunications, tourism, transportation services, and other fields.
Sara Israfilbayova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Sara_999Is
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz