Czech companies eager to expand presence in Azerbaijan
By Sara Israfilbayova
The Czech companies aim to expand their presence in Azerbaijan and strengthen cooperation with Azerbaijani entrepreneurs.
Chairman of the Board of the Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the CIS Countries Frantisek Masopust, who took part in the Azerbaijani-Czech business forum in Baku told Trend that about 25 Czech companies, which aim to find partners in Azerbaijan to establish joint businesses, have arrived in Baku.
“For 10 years, our companies have been coming here at an enviable regularity. During this period, we managed to spread information about your country in the Czech Republic, and our companies are very pleased to respond to the offers of trip to Azerbaijan and search for partners here. First of all, we are attracted by the economic stability and security in your country. When we first entered the Azerbaijani market 12-15 years ago, we felt that, as compared to your neighbor countries, more prospects for business activity are awaiting us in your country. And now we are convinced that at that time we made the right step,” Masopust said.
He went on to say that the economy of Azerbaijan is developing steadily, and coming here almost every year, they witness this, adding that there is a good potential for the development of relations between the business entities of the two countries.
Masopust mentioned that the Czech entrepreneurs are ready to establish contacts with Azerbaijani partners for joint activities in a number of areas.
Speaking of the format of cooperation, he noted that the Czech companies mainly prefer export-import operations.
“We have several joint ventures and partner companies, but the Czech companies mainly prefer partnership at the level of export-import operations. We are interested in increasing investments, but the fact is that the financial capacity of the Czech companies is not so great in order to implement major investment opportunities. For example, an average German company is much richer than the Czech companies. State support is necessary for us to be able to increase our investments in Azerbaijan,” Masopust said.
Diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan were established in 1993.
Today, Azerbaijan significantly increases the energy security of the Czech Republic since the national oil provides a third of the annual consumption of the country. Therefore, Azerbaijan, which has made a significant contribution to the diversification of Czech energy resources, has become an important strategic partner of this European country.
Currently, there are 25 companies with Czech capital in Azerbaijan. Over the past period, the Czech Republic has invested $30 million in the economy of Azerbaijan. The Czech companies are contractors in eight state projects, the total value of which exceeds $2 billion.
Moreover, in the end of 2017 the management of Ganja Automobile Plant and representatives of the Czech Automobile Plant signed a memorandum, according to which, starting from 2018 various Tatra trucks will be produced in Azerbaijan.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic amounted to $473 million in January-July 2018, $394.3 million of which fell on the export of Azerbaijani products to the Czech Republic.
Sara Israfilbayova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Sara_999Is
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