By Leman Mammadova
Trade and economic relations between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands are successfully developing since the parties are interested in increasing cooperation.
The excellent relations between the Netherlands and Azerbaijan, particularly the economic relations, are steadily developing, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Azerbaijan Onno Kervers said this at a press conference dedicated to the King's Day - national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
He noted that the Netherlands welcomes the upcoming signing of a new agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU, "which will open up new opportunities for the development of trade and economic cooperation."
The ambassador said that over the past few years, the two countries have focused on economic relations in the field of agriculture.
“Previously, the main indicator of our economic ties was the oil and gas industry. Now, after diversifying the economy of Azerbaijan, we have focused on the agricultural sector. As you know, the Netherlands is second in the world after the U.S. in the export of agricultural products. We are ready to share our experience in this field with the Azerbaijani side,” he highlighted.
Kervers further noted that early this month the Netherlands allocated 300 million euros for the construction of a model farm in Azerbaijan. Model farms are experimental farms designed to research and demonstrate improvements in agricultural techniques, efficiency, and building layout.
The ambassador stressed that this step is connected with the desire and intention of the Netherlands to help the development of the agricultural sector in Azerbaijan.
“One of the well-known Dutch universities will also help us in the implementation of this project. This suggests that the Netherlands is interested in diversifying the economy of Azerbaijan,” he said. “Other projects are also envisaged in this direction. Additionally, 20 Dutch companies will participate in the Caspian Agro exhibition in Baku in May. We also intend to expand our humanitarian, social and human rights cooperation.”
Kervers emphasized that business relations between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands remain active in promoting trade between the two countries. In his words, the number of Dutch companies in Azerbaijan has increased.
“Entrepreneurs representing the Netherlands are more active in energy, water resources management, environmental management, port development, shipbuilding, logistics, petrochemical products,” he said.
The Netherlands recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992. Azerbaijan’s Embassy was opened in the Hague in 2007, while the Dutch embassy was established in Baku in 2009.
Relations between the two countries develop gradually, especially in the economic sector. Trade turnover between the countries increases annually.
So far, up to 130 Dutch companies operating in services, construction, transport, industry, trade, communications, banking and insurance are registered in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and the Netherlands also cooperate in the development of the Baku Sea Trade Port and its connection with the Dutch ports. In addition, Azerbaijan cooperated with Dutch companies in rehabilitation of lakes in Absheron, including Boyukshor Lake.
Although the Netherlands doesn’t participate in the Southern Gas Corridor project, envisaging transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, it attaches great importance to this project, as the Netherlands is extremely interested to support the energy security in the EU as a whole.
In recent years the expansion of bilateral economic relations, the organization of economic missions, business forums, as well as other activities opened a new phase in practical cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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