By Sara Rajabova
Japan has allocated to Azerbaijan a grant in the amount of $ 900,000 (100 million Japanese yen) for the development of the agricultural sector.
The document on the non-project grant aid for “Provision of Japanese SME’s Products” provided by the Japanese government was signed by Heydar Asadov, Azerbaijan’s agriculture minister and Tsuguo Takahashi, the Japanese ambassador to Azerbaijan on August 6.
"The equipment delivered as part of this grant will contribute to the development of the agrarian sector in Azerbaijan," Takahashi said commenting on the signed document.
The main goal of the grant aid scheme is to support the promotion of the economic and social development of developing countries by utilizing the unique efficient and user-friendly technology of Japanese small and medium sized enterprises.
The said scheme as a part of ODA program of the Japanese government will contribute to the development of agricultural sector of Azerbaijan throughout using the Japanese SME’s advanced technology.
Asadov, for his part, said this agreement is a new level in the development of Azerbaijani-Japanese relations.
"The relations between Azerbaijan and Japan are rising in development. Today's agreement is another example of their development,” Asadov said.
He went on to say that this agreement will play an important role in upgrading the technical park of the agrarian sector of Azerbaijan and the development of human resources.
Starting from 1996 till 2011 the Japanese government provided for nine times grand aid for Increase of Food Production (2KR)/Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers at the amount of $29.54million and for two times projects on “Improvement of Equipment for Amelioration and Irrigation” amounting in total $12.56 million.
The Japanese embassy said its government is interested in welfare and highly development of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani nation and from this point of view Japan supported and will support Azerbaijan throughout its ODA program in order to realize the infrastructure related projects such as: electricity and water supply, promoting agriculture and well-being of the people, especially in rural area and capacity building of human resources.
So far, entire amount of the ODA provided by the Japanese government to Azerbaijan is more than $ 1.1 billion covering a wide range of areas such as improvement of economic infrastructure, agricultural and social sectors, cultural field as well as human capacity development.
Japan recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.
The Japan embassy in Azerbaijan started to operate in 2000. In 2005 Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Japan.
Since 1999 to 2013, Japan under the seven projects allocated about $34 million to Azerbaijan. The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Japan amounted to $311 million in 2013.