By Nigar Abbasova
Turkey, which has always taken leading positions among the foreign trade partners of Azerbaijan, is ready to increase the volume of investments in the agricultural sphere of the brotherly country.
Turkey’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Faruk Celik told Trend that Turkey urges the country’s businessmen to invest in Azerbaijan’s agriculture, noting that Turkey wants Azerbaijan to become a country fully self-sufficient in the agricultural production.
Azerbaijan plans to gradually replace foreign imports with domestic production and switch to the economic policy of import-substitution, as well as increase competitiveness of local production.
Last year, the country exported agriculture production worth $426 million, recording an increase of $73 million or 20.7 percent as compared to the figure of 2015.
"We know that Azerbaijan has been actively investing in the development of agricultural production lately. Companies with Turkish capital are also involved in these projects and they provide Azerbaijan with the know-how used in Turkey’s agricultural sector," the minister said.
He added that Azerbaijan, thanks to its fertile land, will be able to significantly reduce dependence on imports of agricultural products, if investments are provided and necessary measures are implemented.
"For this purpose, we offer Turkish investors and businessmen to invest in Azerbaijan’s agricultural sector," Celik said.
Azerbaijan has 4.8 million hectares of agricultural land, which comprises over 50 percent of its total territory, while some 39.6 percent of it is arable.
The sphere of agriculture is deemed to have a great potential for development due to a wide range of investment incentives, high economic profitability as well as creation of modern enterprises, agricultural parks, large horticultural and greenhouse facilities in industrial parks and zones.
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to $1.67 billion in January-September 2016, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. The countries plan to bring the volume of trade turnover to the level of $15 billion in the coming years.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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