By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan is France’s main economic and trade partner in the South Caucasus, Executive Director of the Azerbaijani Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication Vusal Gasimli has said.
“In 2018, 2.4 percent of France’s total trade turnover with the three countries of the South Caucasus accounted for Azerbaijan. In 2019, France accounted for 3 percent of Azerbaijani exports and 2.1 percent of imports,” Gasimli said in an address to the business meeting of the Azerbaijan-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry held in Baku on January 24.
Gasimli offered expanding the export of the non-oil sector to France to include hazelnuts, fruits, vegetables, dates, wine and other agricultural products.
He also mentioned that being the third largest economy in Western Europe (after Germany and the UK) France, has a number of large corporations that could participate in the Azerbaijani economy and help bring new technologies to the country, create new jobs and increase competitiveness and export opportunities
Gasimli also noted that Azerbaijan has implemented large-scale economic reforms to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth. He stressed that while the pace of economic growth in the world has slowed, the pace of economic growth in Azerbaijan has accelerated over the past five years.
He also emphasized that the dialogue and a joint initiative of the public sector and corporations are necessary to increase the efficiency of tax and legal management, as well as to increase private investment.
“Bringing the GDP growth from 0.1 percent in 2017 to 2.2 percent in 2019 is an undoubted step forward. Economic, social, managerial and personnel reforms are decisive factors in accelerating growth,” he said.
Gasimli noted that to achieve these goals, the country should increase the sustainability of its economic growth, adding that it is necessary to improve the business environment and infrastructure, attract private investors, enter more international markets and continue to develop human capital.
Azerbaijan-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2016 and aims to develop mutually beneficial economic and friendly relations between the two countries. The Chamber's mission is to provide its members with unique networking opportunities.
The Chamber organizes official events on pressing issues on a monthly basis, at which assistance is offered to the member-companies in developing the business through their platform. Presently, the Chamber has over 60 local and international member companies.
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