By Leman Mammadova
Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin will visit Azerbaijan on February 8, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy told Trend.
During the visit, the Azerbaijani and Russian delegations will review the reconstruction of the Yarag-Kazmalar checkpoint, the Samur checkpoint, as well as the construction of an automobile bridge across the Samur river.
"These projects are important for realization of Azerbaijan's transport and transit potential, as well as the creation of favorable conditions for further expansion of cooperation and trade between the two countries," the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy said.
Moreover, the opportunities for development of the economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia are planned to be discussed in the Hajigabul Industrial Zone on Feb. 9 and a foundation of a plant for production of commercial and special-purpose vehicles will be laid upon the joint project between Azermash and GAZ Group.
Azerbaijan is one of the main economic partners of Russia among the CIS countries and Russia remains one of Azerbaijan’s main foreign trade partners. Interregional cooperation plays an important role in the development of Russian-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations and the increase in trade turnover. Russia ranks first in terms of export of non-oil products from Azerbaijan.
Recently, the 17th session of the State Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.
So far, Azerbaijan invested more than $1 billion in the Russian economy, and Russia invested more than $4.2 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy. About 760 companies with Russian capital operate in Azerbaijan.
According to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to almost $2.27 billion in January-November 2018. The trade turnover between the countries increased by 20 percent compared to the same period of 2017.
Being implemented jointly with Russia, the construction of an automobile bridge across the Samur River on the Azerbaijani-Russian border,is underway. The bridge construction was launched in October 2017. Its length is 325 meters. The Russian side controls the construction work. Previously, Russian media reported that the cost of the bridge construction will be 1.2 billion rubles and the project is financed jointly.
The decision on construction of a new bridge was made in accordance with the agreement signed between the two countries on Sept.13, 2013. The new bridge will replace the existing one, which was built in 1957.
In Azerbaijan, the creation of the automobile industry and its development was chosen as a strategic goal.
The growth in population size and well-being, on the one hand, and the improvement of the business climate in the country on the other, create opportunities for the development of the automotive industry in order to meet primarily domestic demand for vehicles in the country.
It is planned to launch a new truck assembly plant in the Hajigabul Industrial Zone at the end of 2019 to produce the GAZel NEXT, GAZon NEXT Russian trucks, as well as GAZel Business and Sable Business and their all-wheel drive versions.
GAZ Group and Azermash signed the corresponding agreement on September 3, 2018 in Sochi as part of negotiations between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia.
At the second stage of automobile plant development, the production of Vektor NEXT and LiAZ buses is envisaged.
Earlier, it was also reported that 14 million manats ($8.24 million) will be invested in the construction of the plant.
It will be the second automobile plant in Azerbaijan for AzerMash OJSC which established in 2017. Currently, the company is also a co-owner of "Khazar" automobile plant, the joint venture established together with the Iranian Iran Khodro company in the Neftchala industrial zone.
GAZ Group is the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Russia. GAZ Group specializes in the development and production of light and medium-duty commercial vehicles, buses, heavy trucks, power units and automotive components.
It should be noted that Hajigabul Industrial Zone was established in Hajigabul region to support the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of industry, to ensure the sustainable development of the non-oil sector and to increase the employment of the population in the production area.
The total area of the Industrial Zone is 20 hectares. It is planned to implement 7 projects here worth 44 million manat, covering heavy mechanical engineering, special carpentry and composite materials, plastic water containers and production of tar, automotive, building materials.
Russia is a strategic partner of Azerbaijan. The legal framework between the countries includes over 180 documents, including about 50 in the economic sphere.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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