By Rasana Gasimova
Head of the Italian financial and banking association Cassa Depositi Prestiti SpA (CDP) has urged increasing mutual investments between Azerbaijan and Italy to remove trade imbalance between the two countries.
Addressing the meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and representatives of major Italian companies held in Rome on February 20, Giovanni Gorno Tempini said that Italy’s export to Azerbaijan is less than €500 million while the trade turnover between the two countries was $6bn in 2019.
“Italy is Azerbaijan’s number one foreign trade partner. Azerbaijan is one of Italy’s three main energy resources suppliers and the implementation of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) project will raise our cooperation to a new level. Our mutual trade turnover in 2019 amounted to almost €6 billion,” he said.
He emphasized that within the framework of economic diversification, Azerbaijan focuses on the development of agriculture, eco-friendly transport and energy sector modernization.
“Italian companies are ready to contribute to this goal. In addition, CDP, as a sovereign investment fund, offers many joint investment opportunities for companies interested in Azerbaijan,” Tempini added.
Note that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Italy increased by 10.5 percent year-on-year between January and September.
Italy has so far invested $770 million in Azerbaijan’s economy, and Azerbaijan has invested $1.7 billion in the Italian economy.
The economic partnership between the two countries is primarily based on the energy sector and Azerbaijan is one of Italy's major oil suppliers. Azerbaijan exports mainly oil and oil products to Italy, as well as chemical industry products, while Italy supplies products, light and food industry products to Azerbaijan.
SOCAR has supplied 15.9 million tons of crude oil, 189,000 tons of oil products and 43,700 tons of petrochemical products to Italy over the last two years.
Italy is one of Azerbaijan’s main trade partners and some 113 Italian companies operating in various fields are registered in Azerbaijan.
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