By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom have a strategic relationship. There are political, economic and cultural ties at the highest level between the two countries.
The third meeting of the Azerbaijan-UK Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation has been held in London.
Speaking at the meeting, Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Board of the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) under Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Economy, noted the great potential in expansion of Azerbaijani-British economic ties.
He stressed that one of the areas is cooperation in the field of SMEs.
Mammadov considers it would be expedient to enrich the trade structure between Azerbaijan and the UK and implement this through non-oil products.
He mentioned the importance of organizing such joint events as business forums, exhibitions, as well as the exchange of information on export-oriented products for exploring the trade and investment opportunities of both countries, encouraging and expanding mutual investment, trade and business ties.
The chairman said that SMEs in both countries may also be interested in the exchange of technologies and the implementation of joint innovation projects.
During the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission, Orkhan Mammadov also held meetings in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Export Credits Guarantee Department of the UK Department of Trade and Industry. The participants discussed possible areas of bilateral cooperation in the field of SMEs.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom were established on March 11, 1992.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the UK stood at $525.2 million in 2018, according to the State Customs Committee. The export of Azerbaijani products accounted for around $261.4 million.
It is noteworthy that the trade turnover between the two countries in 2018 increased by 46.5 percent compared to 2017.
So far, the UK has invested over $27 billion in the economy of Azerbaijan. The countries have signed about 15 bilateral agreements so far.
In recent years, the bilateral relations have been made even stronger with the establishment of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission between the two countries and the UK-Azerbaijan Partnership Program in the Oil and Gas Sector.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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