By Rasana Gasimova
The trade turnover between the UAE and Azerbaijan increased by over 22.6 percent over January-September 2019 compared to the same period of last year, UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammed Ahmed Hamel Al Qubaisi has said.
The ambassador made the remark at the fourth Azerbaijan-UAE Trade forum held in Baku on November 12.
The current state of Azerbaijan-UAE relations and prospects for expanding the bilateral cooperation were high on the agenda of the forum.
Al Qubaisi noted that the number the partners of the Azerbaijan-UAE Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation increase every year, adding that presently there are over 50 partner organizations and companies under the commission.
He stressed that the commission significantly contributed to the progress observed in bilateral trade relations in the non-oil sector.
He also spoke about cooperation between Azerbaijan and UAE businessmen. Al Qubaisi said that the successful participation of the both countries’ companies at the exhibitions, where they jointly showcase the products and services, is also important in strengthening bilateral cooperation.
"Presently, three UAE companies carry out direct flights between our countries. There is also an increase in tourist flow. New companies are being created upon mutual investments,” Al Qubaisi said.
He further touched upon the prospects of expanding economic cooperation between the two countries.
“The UAE can become a hub for Azerbaijani companies to export products to the Middle East and African countries. In turn, Azerbaijan can do the same for Arab companies wishing to enter the Caucasus market,” he emphasized.
Addressing the meeting, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori said that trade relations between the two countries are developing rapidly in the non-oil sector.
He noted that the tourism sector is one of the key spheres of cooperation between the UAE and Azerbaijan.
He went on to say that the tourist flow between the countries amounted to 112,000 people in January-September 2019.
"Our trade relations continue to develop and the volume of mutual trade reached $63 million in January-September 2019," Al-Mansoori said.
He further spoke about the number of flights between the countries, saying it must be increased and the additional investments must be drawn for further cooperation in the tourism sector.
During his speech at the event, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikail Jabbarov said that Azerbaijan’s investment in the UAE economy is estimated at $350 million.
“Currently, 340 UAE companies are operating in Azerbaijan. To date, the UAE has invested $2.2 billion in the Azerbaijani economy, of which $900 million was invested in the non-oil sector. In turn, Azerbaijan invested $350 million in the UAE economy, "Jabbarov said.
He emphasized that the Azerbaijan-UAE Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation was an important platform for discussing economic cooperation prospects between the two countries. He also provided information on the investment climate, business environment, logistics centers, industrial zones, as well as investment promotion mechanisms in Azerbaijan.
Co-chaired by the Azerbaijan and Emirati economy ministers, the forum was attended by representatives of various organizations and business representatives from both sides. More than 20 UAE delegates from took part at the event.
Note that the 7th meeting of the Azerbaijan-UAE Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation is to take place in Baku on November 13.
The previous meeting of the commission was held in Dubai in April 2017.
The diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the UAE were established in 1992. The two countries enjoy good opportunities for mutual investments, joint implementation of various projects, including agricultural sector, as well as for the creation of joint ventures, especially in tourism sector.
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