By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Transport, energy and non-oil sectors are regarded as priority areas between Switzerland and Azerbaijan. A big potential of cooperation in these fields with participation of local and Swiss companies promises early results.
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) told Trend that Swiss companies could contribute to projects as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway.
In Switzerland, there are certainly well-known companies in the field of transport and infrastructure that can contribute to projects such as the BTK railway. "The decision to join this project must be made by the private sector in Switzerland," SECO said.
As for the trade turnover between two countries, the SECO especially noted a business roundtable held in Zurich with the Joint Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in partnership with Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and the Embassy of Azerbaijan.
The State Secretariat emphasized that Switzerland and Azerbaijan maintain their economic and political relations by holding regular meetings at all levels. The countries regularly hold joint economic commissions and political consultations.
“The 8th Joint Economic Commission took place in BerneOn June 2, 2019,” the State Secretariat said.
Earlier, SECO reported that in the process of diversifying Azerbaijani economy, Swiss companies can become valuable partners in the development of the country's non-oil sector. Moreover, the rich experience of Swiss companies working in the field of infrastructure and transport could make a significant contribution to the development of Azerbaijan as a transit hub.
SECO underlined that one of the major investors within the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan is the Swiss company Holcim, engaged in cement production.
In turn, Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR is a main Azerbaijani investor in Switzerland. Since 2012, SOCAR has been operating ESSO Switzerland's 172 petrol stations under its brand.
Trade turnover between the two countries reached $881 million in January to May 2019, which is 8.8 times more than that fixed within the first five months last year. Moreover, 52 percent of Switzerland’s total trade turnover in the South Caucasus accounted for Azerbaijan.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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