By Nigar Orujova
The European Union supports reforms and works aiming to ensure economic diversification in Azerbaijan and follows with interest the developments in the privatization, EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Malena Mard said.
The ambassador made the remark at a meeting with the Caspian Energy delegation headed by Natalya Aliyeva, the president and editor in chief of the Caspian Energy International Media Group
In this respect, European companies can play an important role, Mard said. “The European companies are operating here to demonstrate their experience that Azerbaijan could use in practice.”
Mard stressed that the EU is the biggest investor in Azerbaijan and noted the high potential for cooperation of European companies with Azerbaijani businesses.
“Azerbaijan and the EU enjoy very close relations that develop from year to year,” she added.
The ambassador also stressed that the Southern Gas Corridor is a priority for the EU. “We hope to get Azerbaijani gas in 2020. Moreover, according to available information, the implementation of TANAP project is ahead of schedule.”
The official further noted that the EU is also working with the Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism Ministry and provides recommendations on specific areas of tourism development. In addition, the EU has a joint project with the State Committee on Statistics, which also contributes to economic reforms.
The ambassador outlined the great potential of cooperation in agriculture, and output of high quality products to the European market. The close cooperation in this direction is underway with the Agriculture Ministry, she added.
“Azerbaijan has high-quality products, but it is necessary to accelerate the work on the development of distributorships,” she said.
The meeting also discussed different topics of cooperation within the Caspian European Club (Caspian Business Club) and Caspian Energy International Media Group, the possibility of expanding the contacts on the information level.
At the end of the meeting Mard has given an exclusive interview to the Caspian Energy, in which she had raised the possibility to develop bilateral relations, boost economic and investment cooperation, and spoke about the prospects of development of the energy market, the tourism sector and energy cooperation.
The EU is the main trade partner of Azerbaijan. The share of European countries in Azerbaijan's foreign trade amounted to 46.8 percent in January-October 2015, according to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee. Some 30.51 percent and 59.23 percent of Azerbaijani import and export account for the share of the EU countries respectively.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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