By Rasana Gasimova
The volume of trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Switzerland exceeded $1.300 billion over the period of January-August in 2019 compared to $650 million in 2018, Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov said while meeting a delegation led by President of the Council of States of the Swiss Confederation Jean-René Fournier on October 9, Trend reports.
The Parliament Speaker emphasized that since 1995, Switzerland has invested some $860 million in Azerbaijan.
“At the moment, 60 Swiss companies operate in Azerbaijan. The Swiss Holcim company carries out successful activities in Azerbaijan’s domestic market. Stadler Rail is involved in the construction for the production and repair of trains in the country,” he said.
Asadov noted that Azerbaijan attaches particular importance to deepening cooperation with Switzerland, as it was one of the first states to recognize the independence of the country.
“Mutual visits of the presidents of both countries, as well as meetings within the framework of the Davos World Economic Forum serve to strengthen our ties. Currently, the two countries have signed 23 documents,” he added.
Asadov went on to say that Azerbaijan plays an important role in strengthening the energy security of Europe. After the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project, Azerbaijan has become an important transport hub connecting the East and the West.
The Parliament Speaker also emphasized that the activities of friendship groups in the both countries’ parliaments deserve appraisal. He said that mutual visits of MPs positively impact the development of interparliamentary relations.
Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Asadov described it as the most painful issue of Azerbaijan and expressed hope that this conflict will find its fair solution soon within the framework of international law, based on the principles of the countries’ territorial integrity.
In his turn, Fournier said that Switzerland is interested in deepening ties with Azerbaijan in various spheres. Fournier noted that the expansion of parliamentary relations serves common goals and the success achieved in this area have a positive impact on the rapprochement of the two countries and the expansion of economic and cultural cooperation.
Jean-René Fournier noted that Switzerland supports energy projects initiated by Azerbaijan.
Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament, Bahar Muradova, Head of the Azerbaijani parliament's office, Safa Mirzoyev, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Switzerland Hanum Ibrhimova, Swiss Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Muriel Peneveyre and other officials also attended the meeting.
Switzerland is one of the largest investors in the non-oil sectors of Azerbaijan's economy. In the period of 1992-2018, Switzerland invested about $851.9 million in Azerbaijan’s economy.
Switzerland supports large-scale energy and transport projects implemented in the region by Azerbaijan. The Swiss company AXPO is involved in the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which envisages delivering Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR successfully operates in Switzerland. Since 2012, SOCAR has been operating ESSO Switzerland's 172 petrol stations under its brand.
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