Trend's exclusive interview with Ambassador of Malaysia to Azerbaijan, Dato’ Yubazlan Yusof.
Many Malaysian companies are looking at the potential of business opportunities in Azerbaijan, Ambassador of Malaysia to Azerbaijan, Dato’ Yubazlan Yusof told Trend.
"We have and continue to encourage Malaysian companies to be involved in the dynamics of Azerbaijan economic spheres," added the ambassador.
The ambassador noted that if the conditions are conducive and there are available opportunities, Malaysia would like to welcome all possible and potential joint projects and collaborations in the future from both sides.
In terms of exciting cooperation, the ambassador noted that Malaysia’s investment in Azerbaijan is currently focused on the oil and gas industry.
"As a global energy and solutions company, PETRONAS portfolio includes conventional and unconventional resources and a diverse range of fuel, lubricant and petrochemical products," he added.
In terms of PETRONAS activities in Azerbaijan, the ambassador added that the company has acquired a 15.5 percent stake in the Shah Deniz II production sharing agreement operated by a consortium of companies, 15.5 percent share in the South Caucasus Pipeline Company (SCPC), 15.5 percent share in the SCPC holding company, and 12.4 percent share in the Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company (AGSC). The total expenditure by PETRONAS in Azerbaijan thus far is estimated at $5 billion.
As a stakeholder, PETRONAS's role is to manage its stakes while working together with the other concessionaires to ensure the success of the project.
Furthermore, the ambassador pointed out PETRONAS’ contribution to Azerbaijan’s Coronavirus Response Fund.
"Malaysian PETRONAS has contributed 10,000 manats ($5,882) to the Coronavirus Response Fund," he said.
"In Azerbaijan, PETRONAS as one of the co-ventures in the Shah Deniz Consortium has continuously supported the Operator to carry out all necessary measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the operations in Shah Deniz to ensure it continues to run safely and efficiently across the value chain," added the ambassador.
The ambassador added, that PETRONAS is working closely with the relevant authorities on the requirements during this COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to exercise strict compliance with the Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) standards and best practices.
He added that among the non-oil sectors of Azerbaijan, Malaysia is interested in the tourism industry, alternative banking, information technology & multimedia, as well as education.
Furthermore, he noted that the enhancement of connectivity could strengthen trade and economic cooperation through physical, institutions, and people-to-people linkages between the two countries.
In terms of cooperation, the ambassador also added that direct flight between Malaysia and Azerbaijan would be an impetus to establish the transport corridor between regions and expand the bilateral cooperation in many potential areas.
"This would be beneficial for our growing economies as it will provide the linkages bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally as well as contributing to the development of the surrounding economic zones," he said.
Another sector with the growth potential was tourism. The ambassador highlighted that the tourism sector would encourage people-to-people connectivity through social and cultural exchange and also cultivate the growth of the bilateral trade and economy as it can integrate the growing regional community through the development of crucial infrastructures in regions.
Overall, talking about the countries’ cooperation it was noted that both Malaysia and Azerbaijan are interested in mutual economic cooperation and highly focused to strengthen the existing good relations.
Ambassador also highlighted its support in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Malaysia gives its full support to Azerbaijan when it comes to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and has always shown its support and solidarity for Azerbaijan through The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations (UN)."
"Malaysia reaffirms the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan and the inadmissibility of the use of force by Armenia," added the ambassador.
The ambassador added that Malaysia will continue to support international efforts for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian Armed Forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
"Malaysia strongly urges the Government of Armenia to fulfill its international obligations, adherence to all UN resolutions and end their occupation of Azerbaijan's territories, as it is the only viable and long-term solution to the root causes of the conflict," noted the ambassador.
In terms of recent Armenian provocation on the border area with Azerbaijan, which resulted in casualties, including among the civilian population of Azerbaijan, the ambassador expressed deepest condolences to the loss of lives.
"Malaysia calls for an immediate end to the fighting and for the parties involved, to take necessary steps to de-escalate the situation outside of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region," noted the ambassador.
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