By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan and Pakistan are expected to ink an oil and gas trade deal in late February. Times of Islamabad reported that the governments of the two countries have already considered the issue.
Azerbaijan has earlier offered to export oil, petrochemical production and natural gas to Pakistan.
In April 2016, the Oil and Natural Resources Ministry of Pakistan and Energy Ministry of Azerbaijan negotiated the signing of the intergovernmental agreement, which envisages cooperation in the spheres of oil deliveries, supplies of petrochemical production, LPG and LNG, as well as attraction of investments in energy sectors of the two countries, particularly reconstruction of the relevant infrastructure.
The agreement is expected to allow the countries to ink deals worth billions of dollars without going through tenders.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan has earlier given the go-ahead to the signing of an agreement with Azerbaijan, in a move that will lessen Pakistan’s excessive reliance on Middle Eastern countries.
Currently, Pakistan is importing oil from Gulf Arab countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, while it is purchasing gas from Qatar.
Within the sixth session of Pakistan-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Commission held in April 2016, the sides also agreed on joint the implementation of exploration work by means of setting up a special laboratory and making test productions of oil and gas. Besides, the two countries will exchange scientific-technical developments in the spheres of exploration and extraction, as well as in the training of specialists in oil industry.
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan amounted to $7.3 million in 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee. Pakistan has already developed a 5-year trade plan on the increase of the export volume to Azerbaijan up to $500 million.
Pakistan was among the first countries that recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in October 1991.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz