By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan and Austria are continuously making efforts for further expansion of the bilateral economic and trade relations covering many sectors of economy.
Azerbaijani-Austrian Business Forum was held in Baku on May 15 with the support of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy and Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO).
About 70 businessmen working in industry, agriculture, textile, logistics and other spheres as well as officials attended the event.
The Head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Niyaz Alizade stressed that Azerbaijani-Austrian economic and trade relations are developing successfully.
Speaking about the favorable business and investment environment created in Azerbaijan, Alizade gave information about the development of the non-oil sector, diversification of the economy, stimulation of the private sector development, expansion of export, as well as the work done in promotion of the Made in Azerbaijan brand and the measures taken to promote foreign investments.
In turn, Georg Karabaczek, Trade Commissioner of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber for Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, talked on the possibilities of expanding Azerbaijani-Austrian economic cooperation and invited businessmen to use the existing potential.
Later, presentations were held on Azerbaijan's business and investment climate and Austrian economy.
During the business forum, bilateral meetings were held between the businessmen and issues of cooperation were discussed.
Diplomatic relations between Austria and Azerbaijan were established in 1992.
The Joint Commission for Economic, Agricultural, Industrial, Technical and Technological Cooperation operates between the two countries. The most dynamic areas of cooperation are energy, transportation, tourism and construction.
In 2018, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria amounted almost $400 million, about $67 million of which fell on imports from Austria, while Azerbaijani exports to Austria reached $330 million. Azerbaijan mainly imports products, water, pharmaceutical products and iron, and steel products from Austria. County’s exports to Austria are primarily oil, gas and copper products.
The highest level of trade turnover between the two countries was registered in 2015, when it amounted to 525 million euros.
Austrian companies invested $73 million in Azerbaijan’s economy, while Azerbaijan invested $60 million in the economy of Austria. Transport sector is now the main area for investments in Azerbaijan for Austrian companies.
Presently, about 50 Austrian companies operate in industry, construction, trade, service, banking and insurance, transport and other spheres in Azerbaijan.
Austria supports Azerbaijan’s role in the diversification of energy supplies to Europe and highly appreciates energy projects implemented by Azerbaijan in this direction. Austria expects gas volumes from Azerbaijan to be delivered via Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy further to European countries including Austria when the Southern Gas Corridor will be fully put into operation.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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