By Leman Mammadova
France is the key partner of Azerbaijan in the implementation of energy projects and supports major gas pipeline projects envisaging delivery of the country’s energy resources to Europe.
French companies have been actively cooperating with SOCAR (State Oil Company) in the development of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields.
Energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and France covers oil and gas production, geological exploration, petrochemical industry. French company Total has a 50 percent interest in the Absheron production sharing agreement in the Caspian Sea, and also holds a 5 percent share in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline.
Total sells gas to SOCAR and markets petrochemicals, automotive and industrial lubricants in Azerbaijan, while buys crude oil, especially from SOCAR. Energy cooperation with Total also covers development of renewable energy projects.
Taking into account successful energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, France intends not to limit economic relations only to this context, and is interested in developing strong ties in the non-oil sector.
Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, and a delegation led by Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, President of MEDEF (Movement of the Enterprises of France), have discussed diversification of bilateral cooperation on July 11 in Baku. French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Aurelia Bouchez also attended the meeting.
Abdullayev stressed the successful activities of French companies in Azerbaijan, and spoke about the success of long-term and fruitful cooperation between SOCAR and French companies in the framework of energy projects of regional and global importance.
He said that relations with French entrepreneurs will be expanded thanks to the visit of MEDEF delegation.
Abdullayev gave detailed information about the infrastructure projects implemented by the company, and pointed to the broad prospects for cooperation in various fields.
De Bezieux, in turn, noted that the delegation includes companies operating in the banking sector, construction, energy, environment, technology and other industries.
He pointed out that French companies participating in the meeting are more interested in establishing contacts with Azerbaijan in the non-oil sector, including information technologies, innovations, agriculture, environmental protection and tourism.
The delegation of French companies led by the head of MEDEF is on visit to Azerbaijan to get acquainted with the business potential of the country, the business climate and to further develop economic and trade relations.
The trade turnover between the two countries totaled $625 million in 2018, $183 million of which accounted for the imports from France and $442 million – for the exports from Azerbaijan.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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