The volume of bilateral trade between Spain and Azerbaijan has increased by 5.5 percent in the first semester of 2019, Charge d'affaires ad interim of Spanish embassy in Baku Ignacio Sanchez Taboada told Trend.
He noted that economic and other private relations have clearly increased in 2018, though there is still much room for improvement.
"Our bilateral trade increased remarkably in 2018. The value of Spanish exports to Azerbaijan reached 56 million Euros. The value of Azerbaijani exports to Spain in 2018 was 550 million euros. First figures for first semester of 2019 show again an increase in trade turnout of around 5.5 percent," said the diplomat.
Taboada pointed out that the rise in trade turnover is evident, but still the Azerbaijani market is not well known for Spanish companies and there is a huge gap between exports and imports in our bilateral trade.
"The direct investment is much more difficult to measure. Most of the investment made by Spanish companies in Azerbaijan is made through their subsidiaries in Turkey, and to a lesser degree in Russia, and hence is register as Turkish or Russian investment in Azerbaijan. Something similar happens with Azerbaijani investment in Spain, it is channeled through companies in Northern Europe, and register as investment from the Netherland’s, Belgium or the UK in Spain," he added.
The diplomat noted that trade and business missions are of great importance for both countries.
"This was clearly agreed during last visit of our Secretary of State for Foreign Relations to Baku, on June. Hence, he visited SOCAR, SOFAZ and the ongoing Works in the Heydar Aliyev Refinery on which is involved the Spanish engineering company Técnicas Reunidas. Fostering business contacts and trade missions will be a priority of the new government in Spain," he added.