By Rasana Gasimova
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and India has reached $929 million in the past nine month and the two countries have large potential for increasing and diversifying economic ties, Indian Ambassador Bawitlung Vanlalvawna said at a Business Symposium held in Baku on November 21.
The symposium was organized by the Indian Embassy as part of the visit of the delegation of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on November 20-22.
Speaking at the event, Vanlalvawna stressed that the Indian business delegation represented the largest business houses in India operating in the engineering, tourism, trading, education, railways, agriculture and oil and gas sectors.
Touching upon relations between Azerbaijan and India, Vanlalvawna stressed that the two countries enjoy warm and friendly relations based on historical and cultural ties.
Vanlalvawna noted that the two countries are also exploring opportunities to invest in each other’s economies.
The ambassador also mentioned that Azerbaijan and India are successfully cooperating in tourism sphere.
“The trends in the number of visitors from India in 2019 indicated that last year’s figure of around 40,000 visitors will significantly be exceeded,” he said.
He said that India is undergoing an economic transformation, noting that the country is the world’s 7th largest economy.
“We expect to expand our economy to $5 trillion by 2025. It continues to be the fastest growing major economy in the world, with growth rates at over 6 percent,” the ambassador added.
Addressing the event, Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Novruz Guliyev said that 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and India.
He also highlighted the important role of the India-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation signed on April 11, 2017.
Within the framework of the commission, Azerbaijan has prepared a memorandum of understanding on environmental protection issues with India, he added.
"Another beneficial sphere of cooperation is power engineering. As a result of the extension of the production sharing agreement on Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of fields until 2050, the Indian ONGC Videsh company received a stake in ACG,” Guliyev said.
He went on to say that Azerbaijan and India are holding negotiations on the resumption of direct and charter flights, saying that this will increase the bilateral flow of tourists.
Guliyev also spoke about the cooperation in important areas such as transport, tourism, energy and pharmaceutics.
Vice President of Azerbaijan’s National Confederation of Entrepreneurs' (Employers') Organizations, Vugar Zeynalov noted the importance of projects such as North South Transport Corridor for the development of bilateral relations.
He noted that in 2018, the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs' (Employers') signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Chamber of Trade and Commerce, which helps Indian entrepreneurs explore the business environment in Azerbaijan.
He further spoke about the favorable business opportunities, potential areas of cooperation in Azerbaijan and the support provided to entrepreneurs by the government.
Zeynalov stressed that some 170 companies with Indian capital operate in Azerbaijan.
He particularly noted the huge experience that India has in the ICT sphere and invited Indian companies to commercialize their inventions in Azerbaijan.
The meeting was proceeded by the presentations made by the representatives of Indian companies TherMax Limited, Kapataru power transmission Ltd, Ankita Oversees Limited, Beacon Technologies, and Kec International Ltd.
CII is a non-government, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India's development process. Founded in 1895, India's premier business association has more than 9100 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 300,000 enterprises from 291 national and regional industry bodies.
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