By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan and Germany have substantial potential for the development and strengthening of cooperation, Azerbaijan's Deputy Minister of Economy Niyazi Safarov said at the German-Azerbaijani Business Forum on modernization of industry and infrastructure held in Baku on September 27.
The Deputy Minister noted that the volume of turnover between Azerbaijan and Germany has exceeded $1 billion since the beginning of 2019.
“Compared to last year, the turnover between the two countries has increased by 27 percent. The two countries have signed over 70 agreements on cooperation, including those in fintech sphere. 14 twinning projects carried out in Azerbaijan with support of Germany are at the completion stage. One more project is still being implemented. Currently, 154 German companies are functioning in Azerbaijan,” Safarov said.
He added that some $615 million has been allocated for the implementation of industrial projects, 90 percent of them accounting for the oil sector and some 30 million euros has been allocated to implement nine projects related to industry and infrastructure.
It’s worth mentioning that the turnover between Azerbaijan and Germany has increased by 61 percent, reaching €1.4 billion. Azerbaijan’s share among Germany’s South Caucasus partners amounted to 70 percent in 2018.
Touching upon investments, the Deputy Minister informed that the amount of Azerbaijani investments in German economy is $3 billion.
He also stressed that German investment in Azerbaijan’s economy amounts to $615 million.
“96 percent of this is invested in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan’s economy. Germany has invested €30 million in Azerbaijan within the framework of nine projects on cooperation,” Safarov said.
The Deputy Minister went on saying that Germany ranks second among Azerbaijan’s European trade partners in terms of trade turnover and ranks first in imports. "German companies are contractors in 66 Azerbaijan projects," he added.
Safarov noted that Germany fully supports Azerbaijan in strengthening trade and economic cooperation with the European Union, and is Azerbaijan’s major partner in this area.
Speaking at the event, German Ambassador Wolfgang Manig noted that the AHK is a very important platform for Germany's foreign economic policy and plays an important role in bringing high-level partners together, informing German companies about the Azerbaijani market and establishing new partnerships.
The Ambassador also said that Germany is always ready to support Azerbaijan in its shift towards a modern and globalized economy based on the international economic system.
“Azerbaijan needs to continue to draw closer to the European Union and build relations with the countries of the continent. Germany and the European Union are interested in the steady development of Azerbaijan’s economy. We are pleased that Azerbaijan’s economy is growing, and various organizations observe this process, the World Bank and other international structures being among them. At the same time, this is a great achievement for Azerbaijan,” Manig said.
Manig also mentioned that the EU representatives are expected to visit Azerbaijan in the near future in order to exchange experience in the field of agriculture.
This year, the financial and business environment, transport and infrastructure, agriculture and food industry were on the agenda of the forum. The main purpose of the event is to provide German and Azerbaijani companies with a business platform to discuss their existing opportunities for new business cooperation and to present their projects and proposals.
The Forum was held at the Hyatt Regency Meeting and Conference Hall. It was organized by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK Azerbaijan) in cooperation with the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations and the European Economic Community.
The event was attended by about 300 delegates from relevant government agencies, local and German companies.
Note that oil and oil products constitute the main share of Azerbaijan's exports to Germany. Last year, SOCAR supplied over 2.2 million tons of crude oil to Germany.
Currently, about 154 companies with German capital operate in Azerbaijan. German companies invested $570 million in Azerbaijan’s economy, most of which was directed to the non-oil sector.
Germany is presently negotiating the supply of hazelnuts, pomegranates, juices, wine and canned products from Azerbaijan, and is also interested in the import of chemical products.
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