By Ayya Lmahamad
Russian ambassador Mikhail Bocharnikov has said that the Azerbaijani-Russian trade turnover reaches $3 billion in 2021.
He made the remarks during a business mission of Russian companies for the development of the “smart city” urban infrastructure in Baku, on November 17.
"Despite the slight weakening of our economic relations due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have already reached positive results - to the level of $3 billion. The trade turnover is mainly carried in the non-oil sector,” he said.
Noting that opportunities for the Azerbaijani export of agricultural products to Russia are also improving, the ambassador stated that favorable conditions for doing business have been created in Azerbaijan.
"Economic bodies of Azerbaijan and Russia are very closely cooperating. The Russian embassy and trade mission are ready to provide the necessary support to Russian entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan," he said.
ICT, transport cooperation
Roseximbank JSC Board Chairman Azar Talibov said that the bank is ready to provide Azerbaijan with the necessary financing for the implementation of projects in the field of ICT and transport.
"We see how much the demand of the Azerbaijani market for vehicles is growing. We also see the need to develop the ICT sector in Azerbaijan and are ready to provide the necessary funding for the above-mentioned industries,” he said.
Noting that these projects will make the lives of citizens even better, Talibov emphasized that their visit to Azerbaijan is connected with this.
“Russian companies have great experience in this area and are ready to work here," he said.
He also believes that the results of the meeting can be summed up in three months.
Russian Railways Logistics JSC general director Dmitry Murev also stated that a test train from Azerbaijan to Russia is planned to be launched in the near future. He added that this will be another step to expand economic relations between the two countries.
"We, in turn, express our readiness for mutual loading of Azerbaijani railcars that will arrive in Russia with the test train," he added.
"Smart village/city" projects cooperation
Azerbaijani Digital Development and Transport Deputy Minister Rahman Hummatov said that Azerbaijan and Russia are working on the preparation of the smart cities and villages projects concept.
He noted that cooperation between the two countries in the field of ICT is actively developing.
"I think it is very important to further develop this sector. Contributing to digitalization is very important and cities should not fall behind. We are working on developing the concept of smart city and village projects. We also plan to meet with Russian companies in this direction," he said.
He added that a number of projects are also being successfully implemented in the transport sector.
"We are taking measures to completely modernize the railroad tracks. We have also commissioned a number of roads connecting our country to the North-South international transport corridor," he said.
The deputy minister added that work is underway to expand the regulatory framework between the two countries in the customs sector.
Business cooperation platform
The chairman of the board of the Azerbaijani agency for small and medium-sized business development, Orkhan Mammadov, said that a platform for the expansion of business cooperation will be developed between Azerbaijan and Russia.
Noting the interest in attracting Russian investors to Azerbaijan, he expressed readiness to provide them with all the necessary tools to work here.
“They can go through all the necessary procedures for entering our market, as well as training. We also provide financial support for successful business and grants for the implementation of scientific works,” he said.
He also noted that the Agency has a network in more than 25 cities of Azerbaijan, which contributes to an increase in the number of entrepreneurs.
Joint implementation of projects
Russian Export Center JSC Director-General Veronika Nikishina stated that the center and Azerbaijan may sign contracts for the implementation of over 150 projects.
Stating that the relations between the two countries are developing dynamically, she noted that the parties are reaching record levels of cooperation, underlining that the trade turnover this year amounted to more than $2 billion.
“Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan will only grow. We implement a number of successful projects. Today, contracts may be signed in Azerbaijan for the implementation of more than 150 projects. We are ready to act as a guarantor of the supply of Russian goods to Azerbaijan. Moreover, we have a list of projects to be implemented for Azerbaijan," Nikishina said.
She added that the Russian Export Center supports the implementation of projects in the field of alternative energy sources in Azerbaijan.
"All our arsenal will be used to the maximum extent for the development of bilateral cooperation," she said.
It should be noted that within the framework of the meeting Azerbaijan's Agency for Small and Medium-sized Business Development and the Russian Export Center has signed a memorandum of understanding. The document envisages the expansion of cooperation in SMBs, the exchange of information on export and industrial sectors, and the organization of joint events.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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