By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and India increased to approximately $1.1 billion in 2019, Deputy Foreign Minister Ramiz Hasanov said during the event in Baku to mark the 71st Republic Day of India, Azernews reported.
"The development of economic relations between our countries should be emphasized. The bilateral intergovernmental commission is operating successfully and the trade turnover between the two countries has increased to approximately 1.1 billion in 2019," Hasanov said.
There are over 230 Indian companies operating in Azerbaijan, which invested $1.2 billion invested in the country's economy.
"Two countries are participating in the North-South International Transport Corridor project through which goods may be supplied to Europe in a shorter period of time and at lower prices than via traditional routes," Hasanov said.
Noting that relations in the energy sector are also developing rapidly, the minister noted that the Indian ONGC Videsh company owns a stake in the project of development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
He further emphasized the importance of tourism in terms of developing relations between the two countries, adding that certain steps have already been taken in this direction.
Touching upon cultural ties, Hasanov stressed that as a result of mutually beneficial cooperation between Azerbaijan and India, today Azerbaijani culture is widely promoted in India.
"There are many opportunities for promotion of Azerbaijani culture in India. Last year, the 650th birth anniversary of the great poet of Azerbaijan and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi was also celebrated in India," Hasanov recalled.
Noting that intercultural dialogue brings nations and civilizations closer together, he also said that Azerbaijan provided active support to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India's freedom movement and peace activist.
Hasanov reiterated that Azerbaijan supports further development of multilateral and comprehensive relations with India.
Speaking about the political relations between the two countries, he underlined that they are successfully developing, high-level visits are held, and mutually beneficial cooperation exist in various international organizations.
Addressing the event, Indian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Bawitlung Vanlalvawna spoke about India’s successes in various fields, as well as the relations with Azerbaijan.
He said India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan after the country regained its independence.
Vanlalvawna reminded that India’s constitution was established 71 years ago and the country has progressed since then making contribution to universal human values.
He further stressed that India wants to strengthen its friendship and cooperation with Azerbaijan in all areas.
Touching upon the relations between the two countries, Vanlalvawna said that Azerbaijan and India have deep cultural and historical ties.
"Respect for multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue unites us. At the same time, there is extensive cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and it is expanding every year. Azerbaijan and India also cooperate within the North-South International Transport Corridor," he noted.
The reception to mark India’s Independence Day was attended by officials, MPs, ambassadors of foreign states in Azerbaijan and public representatives.
India recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations were between the two countries were established on 28 February 1992.
India celebrates Republic Day on January 26 each year. That’s the day when India's constitution came into force on 26 January 1950, completing the country's transition toward becoming an independent republic.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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