By Leman Mammadova
The first Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) International Trade and Investment Fair and the SCO Qingdao Forum on Local Economic and Trade Cooperation were held in the city of Qingdao, China's Shandong Province, on May 24-26.
Azerbaijani products were presented in two pavilions, organized by the country’s trade representation in China with the support of the Ministry of Economy and the Embassy of Azerbaijan, at the three-day exhibition with a total area of 10,000 square meters.
The first pavilion demonstrated visual aids, various publications, videos about the economic development of Azerbaijan, a favorable investment and business environment, regional transport and transit projects initiated by the country.
The second pavilion featured competitive export-oriented products produced under the brand Made in Azerbaijan - wines and other alcoholic beverages, dried fruits, saffron, mineral waters, fruit juices, tea, jam, etc.
It should be noted that Azerbaijani products were exhibited through the representative offices of the Azerbaijani companies in China, together with Chinese counterparts, importers of Azerbaijani products, and the Azerbaijani Trade House in the city of Liuzhou.
Within the framework of the exhibition, meetings were held with local businessmen to expand the export of Azerbaijani products to China. Visitors were informed about the tourism potential of Azerbaijan, and the activities of tourist centers that meet modern requirements.
In his speech at the SCO Qingdao Forum on Local Economic and Trade Cooperation, the Trade Representative of Azerbaijan in China Teymur Nadiroglu pointed out that Azerbaijan actively supports the Belt and Road initiative with its economic potential.
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s recent economic successes, he stressed that in the Doing Business 2019 report, Azerbaijan, having risen by 32 positions, took the 25th place among 190 countries and was included in the list of 10 most reformist countries.
Nadiroglu added that over the past 15 years, $250 billion has been invested in the Azerbaijani economy, $100 billion of which was foreign direct investment.
He also spoke about the consistent development of Azerbaijan-China economic cooperation, noting that currently several Azerbaijani trade and wine houses operate in China, and Azerbaijani companies actively participate in exhibitions held in China.
SCO International Trade and Investment Fair attracted more than 400 companies and other organizations, including over 150 from overseas. The event featured the cultural industries, tourism, home appliances and many other products of SCO member states.
At present, Azerbaijan’s trade and wine houses operate in Shanghai, Urumqi and Liuzhou cities to ensure the export of local products to China under the Made in Azerbaijan brand. In addition, the country is planning to open its trading house in the city of Xi'an.
Launched in 2016, the Made in Azerbaijan brand envisages a large-scale promotion of local non-oil products in foreign markets.
Azerbaijan is China's key trade partner in the South Caucasus region. Last year, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China exceeded $1.3 billion, making up 43 percent of China’s total trade turnover with the countries of the South Caucasus.
Over the past period, Azerbaijan invested $1.7 billion in China, and Chinese investments to Azerbaijan exceeded $800 million.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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