By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and South Korea does not fully reflect the economic potential of the two countries and much work remains to be done to this end, Chairman of Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov has said.
Asadov made the remarks while meeting a delegation led by Moon Hee-sang, Chairman of the National Assembly of South Korea on October 16.
He noted that along with political ties between the two countries, economic cooperation is also developing. Asadov noted that many Korean companies successfully operate in Azerbaijan and 62 legal documents have been signed between the two countries so far. Mutual visits by the heads of state played an important role in bringing relations to this level, he stressed.
Asadov reminded that a joint commission on economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and South Korea was created in a bit to develop economic ties. Azerbaijan has registered 67 Korean investment companies and invested 427 million in Korea, while Korean investments in Azerbaijan amounts to $185 million.
He said the inter-parliamentary friendship groups operating in the parliaments of both countries also contribute to the development of bilateral relations. From this point of view, increasing the intensity of mutual visits of friendly groups is important. Asadov invited Korea to participate in the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries as an observer.
In turn, Hee-sang praised the rapid development of the Azerbaijani economy and ongoing reforms in the country. He said that South Korea can share its experience with Azerbaijan in the field of information technology and can benefit from the experience of Azerbaijan in the use of natural resources.
He stressed that Azerbaijan is important for South Korea and the country intends to participate in TurkPA as an observer.
During the meeting, the guests were informed about the causes and grave consequences of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It was noted that over 25 years, 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands have been under occupation of Armenian forces. As a result of the conflict, over one million Azerbaijanis have been expelled from their lands.
Ziyafet Asgarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Bahar Muradova, Valeh Alasgarov, who are both Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament, Safa Mirzoyev, Head of the Parliament Administration, Ahliman Amiraslanov, Chairman of Committee of the Parliament, Malik Hasanov, head of the Azerbaijan-Korea Inter-parliamentary Working Group, members of the working group, Committee Chairman Ulvi Guliyev, Deputies Khanlar Fatiyev, Ulviyya Aghaeva, Rauf Aliyev, as well as Ramzi Teymurov and Kim Tong-op, who are Ambassadors of Azerbaijan and South Korea respectively, attended the meeting.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and South Korea became more intensive after the establishment of the Embassy of South Korea in Azerbaijan in 2006 and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Korea in 2007.
So far, South Korea has invested about $180 million in the Azerbaijani economy, and Azerbaijan has invested $474 million in South Korea. At present, 74 South Korean companies are registered in Azerbaijan that participate as contractors in government projects.
Recently, Azerbaijan and South Korea have signed a framework agreement on grant support that envisages the continuation of joint cooperation on technical assistance and grant support between the two countries.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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