By Rasana Gasimova
A number of memorandums of understanding (MoU) and agreements have been signed on the sidelines of the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, also known as the Turkic Council held in Baku, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Economy has reported.
The documents were signed during the business forum organized on October 14 by the Azerbaijani Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) under the Azerbaijani Confederation of Entrepreneurs with the support of the Ministry of Economy.
Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) have been signed on Cooperation between the Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations of Azerbaijan (CEOA) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB); between the CEOA and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI); between the CEOA and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan - "Atameken"; between the CEOA and Kyrgyzstan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Moreover, MoUs have been signed between Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and the Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (HEPA); between the Azerbaijani Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the HEPA; between the Azerbaijani Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervison of Agency (BDKK); between the Azerbaijani Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Uzbekistan's Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
Memorandum of understanding on the assembly of cars between Azerbaijan's AzerMash OJSC and Uzbekistan's Uzavtosanoat, a protocol of intent between the Azerbaijani Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, TurkEximBank and Ziraat Bank Azerbaijan, and a loan agreement between TurkEximBank and Ziraat Bank Azerbaijan were signed as well.
On the sidelines of the forum, a protocol was signed on the membership of Uzbekistan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Turkey's Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also a protocol was signed on the observer status of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Turkey's Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Addressing the forum, Deputy Minister of Economy Rufat Mammadov reminded that the Turkic Council was founded in 2009 in Nakhchivan, and the Turkic Speaking States have been successfully cooperating since then in various fields, especially in the political, economic, trade and cultural and humanitarian spheres. The cooperation based on mutual respect, friendship and brotherhood is expanding with each year, he said.
“Trade plays an important role in economic cooperation and there is a positive trend in this area. During the 10 years of the Turkic Council’s operation, the volume of trade among the member countries has increased almost twofold, while mutual trade turnover among member countries has reached $7 billion. The member countries’ share in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade amounts to 12 percent,” Mammadov said.
He also noted that the member countries are currently implementing joint projects of global importance, rearranging Eurasia's energy and transport map. Azerbaijan is the initiator and executor of regional and global energy and transport projects, such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars and Southern Gas Corridor.
“The Turkic Council member countries are also successfully cooperating in the field of investment. The countries have invested $ 12.3 billion in the Azerbaijani economy. Some 3,200 companies from these countries are successfully operating in Azerbaijan,” he added.
Mammadov mentioned that Azerbaijan has invested $15.3 billion in the member countries' economies. The deputy minister underlined that the Joint Investment Fund of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, proposed by Azerbaijan to further expand investment cooperation, could serve as an important mechanism.
He further said that there are ample opportunities for cooperation among the Turkic Council countries in many sectors of the economy, including trade and investment, small and medium business, energy, transport, agriculture and food production, industry, education, tourism, ICT and finance. He invited entrepreneurs to benefit from these opportunities and implement mutually beneficial joint projects.
Speaking at the event, Baghdad Amreyev, the Secretary General of the Turkic Council, said that the Council will make a significant contribution to further strengthening of integration among its member countries. The Secretary General emphasized the importance of the business forum held in Baku in the development of business relations among the business circles of the organization's member countries.
Mammad Musayev, President of the Azerbaijani Entrepreneurs Confederation said that large-scale economic reforms have been implemented in Azerbaijan in recent years, and the work on the non-oil sector development had a positive impact on the development of the country's economy, including entrepreneurship.
The following officials and delegation members also shared their views on the expansion of economic cooperation between member countries and made suggestions: Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Berdybek Saparbayev, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov, the Turkic Speaking States Commerce and Industry Chamber President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Acting Head of Azerbaijan Investment and Export Promotion Fund (AZPROMO) Yusif Abdullayev, Chairman of the Board of Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SME) under the Ministry of Economy Orkhan Mammadov, Kyrgyzstan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Marat Sharshekeyev, Uzbekistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Adham Ikramov, Project Director of Investment Office under the President of the Republic of Turkey Farruh Parmaksay among others.
The forum also included bilateral meetings among businessmen, as well as the discussions around expansion of cooperation and ties.
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