By Aynur Karimova
Azerbaijan represents around $17 billion of bidding opportunities for the United Kingdom's oil and gas companies, the UK Trade and Investment reported.
At the government department’s Azerbaijan market briefing, the agency said skills developed in the UK over the past four decades in areas such as engineering, project management and manufacturing would be pivotal to extracting the country’s considerable hydrocarbon resources.
“Forty years ago in the North Sea we started to deliver oil and gas, and from this base the UK has built up a tremendous bank of expertise…. providing services not only to UK but Europe and rest of the world,” Campbell Keir, director of the UKTI Energy and UK Infrastructure Team said. “This experience is something that is very valuable and relevant in the current challenging environment, it’s very exportable…. and I think Azerbaijan and the UK can benefit considerably by developing a strong partnership.”
The UK delivered around $1.5 billion of exports to Azerbaijan in 2014, with many of these investments from companies represented at this year’s show.
“UKTI is looking to increase export, with sustainable success dependent on forging strong links with in-country partners and developing local skills and expertise,” Keir said.
UKTO also said that through relationships with Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR and BP, the department is aiming to form a partnership program to develop government-to-government and business-to-business relationships in the market.
In fact, Azerbaijan was added to the UKTI High Value Opportunities program in February 2015. The initiative helps the UK businesses access large-scale overseas procurement projects: identifying opportunities as they become available and helping businesses secure contracts.
An outward mission to the country is planned for next month, with an inaugural Inter Government Committee meeting scheduled to take place in December 2015.
Azerbaijan and the UK are cooperating in various fields, including energy, trade and investment. There are 543 companies with British capital in Azerbaijan at present, and the UK has invested in Azerbaijan's economy $20 billion.
Around 5,000 UK citizens work in Azerbaijan.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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