By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Italy was the top country to export Azerbaijani products in January-February 2020, followed by Turkey and Israel, local media reported citing Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee.
The value of exported products to Italy was estimated at $1.4bn, to Turkey - $310.6m , to Israel - $216.9m.
It should be noted that Italy, Turkey and Russia are in the top three in the list of major countries in trade turnover with Azerbaijan, with the volume of trade amounting to $1.576bn, $547.4m, and $347.1m respectively.
Italy has been one of Azerbaijan’s top partners in the European Union since the beginning of the South Caucasus country’s post-Soviet independence.
Trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $6 billion in 2019, which made Italy Azerbaijan’s top trade partner in Europe.
This bilateral trade accounts for 92 percent of Italy’s overall trade with the South Caucasus region. Additionally, 17 percent of Italy’s annual oil consumption is supplied by Azerbaijan.
Additionally, in 2019, the volume of Azerbaijan's oil exports to Italy increased by 7 percent year-on-year to reach 11,470,595.61 tons. Italy was delivered $ 5,536,752.34 (an increase of 5.1 percent) worth of oil by Azerbaijan.
During the fifth meeting of the Azerbaijan-Italy Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation on January 15, it was noted that the main area of economic partnership with Italy is the energy sector. Over the past two years, Azerbaijani State Oil Company (SOCAR) delivered 15.9 million tons of crude oil, 189,000 tons of oil products and 43,700 tons of petrochemical products to Italy.
In recent years, energy sector cooperation between the two states has been further reinforced by the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), which, starting in late 2020, will annually deliver 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azerbaijani natural gas to the European market for the first time in history.
Azerbaijan and Italy signed 28 agreements in various fields, including military cooperation and energy exports during President Aliyev’s visit on February 19-22. These agreements, particularly a decision on cooperation in the military industry and the “Joint Declaration on Strengthening Strategic Partnership,” are seen in Baku as greatly important for Azerbaijani foreign policy.
The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on May 8, 1992.
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