By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani and Bulgarian officials have exchanged views on the possibility of expanding economic relations, as well as other issues of mutual interest.
Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev met with Bulgarian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nikolay Yankov on September 5.
At the meeting, Mustafayev stressed the high level of relations between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. He mentioned that the political will of the heads of state provided a solid basis for expanding cooperation between the two countries, noting the importance of mutual visits and meetings.
It was noted that a solid legal framework has been established between the two countries, and more than 80 documents have been signed in the areas of investment protection, double taxation avoidance, transport, customs, tourism and other areas.
The Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, signed in 2015, is of particular importance in expanding cooperation between the two countries. Currently, 11 Bulgarian companies are operating in Azerbaijan.
As for the expansion of economic relations, Mustafayev said that there are wide opportunities for cooperation in the fields such as energy, industry, agriculture, transport and transit, pharmaceuticals, trade, tourism, humanitarian and others.
It was noted that Bulgarian entrepreneurs can also benefit from the discounts applied in industrial parks in Azerbaijan.
Mustafayev informed about Azerbaijan's transport and transit opportunities, noting that international transport corridors passing through the country could further develop cooperation with Bulgaria in this area.
He emphasized the importance of economic cooperation between the two countries and joint activities in terms of expanding business cooperation.
In turn, Yankov said that his country attaches great importance to the development of relations with Azerbaijan. He shared his views on the potential of cooperation in various sectors of the economy.
The ambassador noted that Bulgarian businessmen are interested in operating in Azerbaijan and opening joint ventures.
Diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan were established on June 5, 1992. Both countries are members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). So far, more than 55 documents have been signed between the two countries.
The strategic partnership agreement, signed in 2015, opened up new opportunities for cooperation. The two countries also cooperate within the intergovernmental commission on cooperation established in 1999.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria amounted to $65 million in 2018, $26 million of which accounted for imports from Bulgaria.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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