Azerbaijan, China mull expansion of economic ties
By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan is interested in expanding trade and economic cooperation with China, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev said at a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Guo Min on October 11.
“In particular, we have strong potential in the spheres of trade, investment, transport and transit, ICT, agriculture, finance and tourism, “the minister said.
Mustafayev briefed the ambassador about the economic situation in Azerbaijan, the development of the non-oil sector and invited Chinese companies to benefit from favorable business conditions in the country.
He also stressed that there are agreements with Chinese companies on several projects in the industrial sphere.
Touching upon trade relations, the minister emphasized that over the last 8 months, trade between Azerbaijan and China doubled.
“Some 120 companies with Chinese capital in the fields of trade, industry, construction, finance, agriculture and services are currently operating in Azerbaijan. Chinese companies also participate in government projects, “the minister said.
In her turn, Min noted that there is good potential for the cooperation development in the fields of transport, agriculture, and investment.
Currently, over 20 Chinese enterprises, engaged in energy, construction, information and communications, aviation, transport logistics, retail trade, restaurant business etc., operate in Azerbaijan. Chinese enterprises invested $800 million in Azerbaijani economy, while counter investments amounted to about $8 million.
At present, Azerbaijan’s trading 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.
Azerbaijan 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 in the sidelines of the second Belt and Road International Forum in April this year.
The diverse relations between China and Azerbaijan, which have intensified in recent years, are expected to enter a new phase within the Belt and Road Initiative. Providing beneficial conditions on transit routes, Azerbaijan is an attractive transport hub for the Chinese companies for delivery of goods to the West.
Successful transport projects implemented by Azerbaijan, such as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, South-North, Alat International Sea Trade Port, have considerably contributed to the Belt and Road Initiative.
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