By Leman Mammadova
Chinese company Huawei is interested in the expansion of cooperation with Azerbaijan to further improve ICT sphere in the country.
Shahin Mustafayev, Economy Minister of Azerbaijan, has met with Wang Tao, the Vice President of Huawei.
Speaking of the possibilities for expanding economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and China, Mustafayev noted the wide opportunities for economic cooperation in the areas of transport, logistics, trade, investment, ICT and tourism.
In his words, 43 percent of China's trade with the South Caucasus accounts for Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani trade representation, trading and wine houses are actively operating in China.
The minister also pointed out the important role of the Azerbaijani-Chinese Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in expanding bilateral ties.
“In this regard, Huawei, which is one of the world's leading companies, has great potential for developing relationships,” he said.
Mustafayev pointed out that the high-tech exhibitions organized in Azerbaijan also feature various Huawei ICT products, and they always attract great interest.
The minister of economy also briefed on the favorable conditions that have been created in Azerbaijan for business development, the country’s industrial and high-tech parks, and called on Huawei to work together in this favorable business environment.
“We invite Huawei to cooperate with the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in order to establish business relations in the field of ICT,” he said.
Wang Tao, in turn, noted that Huawei has been active operating in more than 170 countries since 2002, including Azerbaijan, and has been participating in the implementation of various projects in Azerbaijan.
He further stressed the company's interest in expanding cooperation with Azerbaijan, and pointed to the importance of mutual visits and discussions for the development of relations.
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Driven by a commitment to sound operations, ongoing innovation, and open collaboration, the company has a competitive ICT portfolio of end-to-end solutions in telecom and enterprise networks, devices, and cloud technology and services.
ICT is considered to be one of the crucial spheres for the further development of Azerbaijan's economy and an integral part of the economic and political reforms which are currently implemented in the country. The income to be obtained in the sector in Azerbaijan is projected to hit $9 billion by 2020.
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.
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.
The country is going to implement new projects together with the Chinese companies in view of the recently signed contracts worth $821 million covering many fields. The documents were signed the sidelines of the second Belt and Road International Forum in April this year.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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