Azerbaijan, Israel mull bilateral cooperation
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov who is on an official visit in Israel, has discussed prospects of strengthening bilateral economic relations during the meeting with Israeli Construction and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin.
Investments promotion and exchange of experience in the non-oil sector were high on the agenda of the meeting. The sides also discussed the restoration of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands and the Israeli companies’ interest in the reconstruction projects.
Praising the opening of the Azerbaijani trade and tourism mission in the country, the sides stressed that this would be an important platform for the development of business dialogue, creating new opportunities to strengthen mutual cooperation and contributing to the development of agriculture, investment and tourism.
Jabbarov also met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
The parties noted that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel is based not only on economic partnership but also on traditional historical, cultural roots and mutual respect and trust. In addition, it was underlined that Israel was one of the first countries to recognize the state independence of Azerbaijan and to establish diplomatic relations.
Noting that visits and meetings of heads of states are of particular importance in building mutual trust between the two countries, the parties underlined Israel’s political support to Azerbaijan during and after the 44-day Patriotic War.
Jabbarov stressed that the economy ministry is working on the continuation of the activity of the joint Azerbaijan-Israeli commission, expansion of the information base and cooperation. In addition, the minister informed the participants about the Alat free economic zone and invited Israeli investors to invest in various sectors of Azerbaijan’s economy.
Cooperation in SMBs
Azerbaijan’s Agency for Small and Medium-sized Business Development Agency Chairman Orkhan Mammadov also held a series of meetings with relevant Israeli SMBs agencies in Israel.
During the meeting with Israel’s Small and Medium Enterprises Agency and the Agency for International Development Cooperation, the information was provided about the measures taken by Agencies to improve knowledge and skills of SMBs, information and activities of SMBs development centers. In addition, the parties discussed Israel’s experience in this area and other prospects for cooperation.
Azerbaijan and Israel have been expanding bilateral cooperation over the years.
Israel was among the first countries to voice support to Azerbaijan over its just position and its territorial integrity during the 44-day Second Karabakh War. In January, Azerbaijan expressed its willingness to involve Israel in the restoration of the country’s newly-liberated territories. Thus, Israel will build a buffalo farm in Azerbaijan’s liberated Zangilan region.
The volume of bilateral trade reached $337.2 million in the first half of 2021. In addition, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $465.7 million in 2020. Azerbaijani oil makes up a significant share of Israel’s oil imports with the country providing for Israel’s energy security.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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