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Wednesday February 1 2023

Azerbaijani president in Davos to promote cooperation in “a fractured world”

20 January 2023 11:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijani president in Davos to promote cooperation in “a fractured world”

The participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in the World Economic Forum in Davos, modeled for discussing global problems to make blueprints for sustainable development of the global economy, is another confirmation of the nation’s crucial influence worldwide.

On January 16, the World Economic Forum started in Davos, which will last until January 20. The topic of this year's forum is "Cooperation in a Fractured World". It is incumbent on the elites at Davos to usher in further reforms in the service of economic sustainability and competitiveness, and Ilham Aliyev’s presence in the elite club speaks volumes.

Political power brokers and corporate bigwigs are in Davos to debate the state of the world economy, and the energy crisis in Europe triggered by the Russian war in Ukraine, and come up with time-honored recipes for the current problems to prevent the world from falling into new global problems. The current forum is taking place against the most complex geopolitical and geo-economic backdrop in decades.

The Davos forum has a considerable impact on both world politics and international relations in shaping the economic landscape of the world. Modern technologies, new ideas, and proposals propounded to spearhead new trends. Simultaneously, the Davos Forum is a venue where economic centers of power come up with augmentation recipes for the economy, submitting them to the service of nations for their own benefit to create sound economies.

The forum unites political leaders, businessmen, and leaders of civil society organizations, where countries have unrivaled opportunities to express themselves to the world.

The Azerbaijani president’s participation is also significant for a series of reasons: a) to inform the world about transport and energy projects Azerbaijan has been implementing for decades to change the overall landscape both at home and the wider region; b) to meet influential corporate bigwigs to exchange ideas; c) to promote know-how and investment in the national economy, and so on.

The interest in Azerbaijan at the forum in Davos is extremely high, where the nation has both what to offer and what to take. Azerbaijan has been realizing dozens of major projects in Karabakh - two years after the war-ravaged territory was liberated by the victorious army.

This time in Davos, the focus is on the work being implemented in the liberated territories in the post-war period, ongoing regional projects, as well as the role of Azerbaijan as a reliable and stable partner in ensuring the energy security of Europe.

The forum as before is providing a platform for a variety of influential opinions and sharing experiences on possible ways of ending the never-ending cascade of calamity - war, climate catastrophe, energy price chaos, inflation, epidemics of hunger and disease, political instability, and widening economic inequity.

Top on the agenda are concerns over a possible global recession. There is also the vexing challenge of climate change and the ongoing war in Ukraine and its downstream effects, including the snarling of the world’s grain trade that contributed to the onset of famine conditions in swaths of sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to flying to Davos, the Azerbaijani president attended the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and outlined major targets of the nation in the energy sector.

We, in Azerbaijan, developed renewable sources of energy not in order to provide our energy security. We did it many years ago. Today, Azerbaijan not only satisfies all its needs with energy but also is also exports crude oil, oil products, natural gas, petrochemicals, and electricity. Our program with respect to renewables has a completely different agenda. First, because of it is enormous potential. Second, it will help us to diversify our export and, of course, it will create a new eco-friendly sector of our economy. This statement of the president in Abu Dhabi was an answer to current problems the world is struggling to cope with at a time when the Russian war in Ukraine is going on.

Azerbaijan just two years ago completed together with its partners a mega energy project, Southern Gas Corridor, an integrated pipeline system that stretches from Azerbaijan to Southern Europe and has a length of 3,500 km, the president said, once again highlighting the pivotal role of the country in Europe’s energy security.

Azerbaijan’s export of natural gas is growing from 19bn cub. m. last year to 24bn cu. m. this year, and it will continue to grow, Ilham Aliyev said, reiterating the importance of gas for eastern European nations. Therefore, once again, he made Azerbaijan’s drive to become one of the centers of renewable energy sources and share the benefits of energy security with friends globally. Azerbaijan does it for different reasons, and the president made it clear that the message is properly received by those centers, which once were against all mega projects initiated by Azerbaijan.

The president also unveiled green energy targets.

“Some 27 gigawatts of wind and solar onshore, 10 gigawatts of wind and solar energy in the territories which have been liberated during the Patriotic War of 2020, and 157 gigawatts of wind energy in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea - almost 200 gigawatts of potential. Of course, we need to have enough export routes and of course, to implement all these projects in stages,” the president added.

He went on to add that MASDAR and Azerbaijan’s national energy company SOCAR signed an agreement to develop four gigawatts of wind and solar power plants in Azerbaijan, and this is only a short-term project. Mid-term projects will increase the volume up to 10 gigawatts, this is doable, and the government has a roadmap to this end. Only this project - cooperation with MASDAR will transform Azerbaijan into a very important source of green energy export.

In total, MoUs and agreements signed by Azerbaijan with international energy companies will allow the nation to produce up to 22 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.

To recap, for that purpose, Azerbaijan needs export routes and on December 17, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary, and Romania signed an agreement to build a Black Sea sea-belt electric cable from the Black Sea coast of Georgia to the Black Sea coast of Romania. This is only what has already been agreed upon though Azerbaijan’s plans are much broader and magnificent.

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