By Nigar Abbasova
The European Union (EU) is preparing to implement nine twinning projects worth nearly € 9 million in Azerbaijan.
Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Economy was quoted as saying after the conference dedicated to the institution building program in Azerbaijan.
The deputy minister also added that on average each project takes a year and a half to prepare. “Each project is realized within the framework of 2 years. New projects are expected to be implemented in the spheres of justice, education, agriculture. The cost of each project amounts to € 1 million,” he said
Babayev also spoke about the cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan during the conference held on May 27.
The official mentioned that the European Union is the main trade partner of Azerbaijan. He said the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the EU countries stood at $9.7 billion in 2015, which amounts to the half of Azerbaijan's total trade turnover.
"This positive tendency continued in 2016 as well," he added.
The deputy minister pointed out that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the EU over the past period of 2016 has reached $2 billion, or 41 percent of the export and import operations.
Babayev said that the volume of investments made by the EU countries into the basic capital of Azerbaijan amounted to 45.6 percent of total investments to this sphere, while direct investments made into the non-oil industry was at the rate of 35 percent of total amount of similar investments.
The deputy minister underlined that the main part of Azerbaijan’s investments falls on the EU countries and cooperation between the sides in the investments sector is steadily developing.
Malena Mard, head of the EU Delegation to Baku in her turn reminded that the European Union has to date rendered technical assistance to Azerbaijan for the implementation of 43 twinning projects.
“The projects cover different spheres and are currently at various stages of implementation,” she said. The number of twinning projects which have already been successfully implemented with the assistance of the EU amounts to 25 while 9 projects are currently in the drafting stage.
The purpose of the conference was the provision of information about the implementation of EU institution building instruments and their concrete achievements in Azerbaijan as well as attraction of attention to further opportunities and benefits of institution building activities.
The conference was targeted at the presentation of such EU institution building instruments as TWINNING, TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange), SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) and SOCIEUX (Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation). Main objective was share of best practices in this sphere with the participants of the event.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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