Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s state visit to China in December 2015 made a huge contribution to strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, professor of the Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC) Elshad Mammadov told Trend.
Mammadov was commenting on the current level of the Azerbaijan-China relations.
“The memorandum of understanding on joint encouragement of the establishment of the Silk Road Economic Belt between the Government of Republic Azerbaijan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China and a number of other cooperation documents were signed during this visit,” the expert added.
“Today, the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative holds a special place in relations between China and Azerbaijan and attracts the attention of the whole world,” Mammadov said.
“While covering such spheres as uninterrupted trade and the free movement of goods, the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative is at the same time of strategic importance to the relations of the parties, contributing to the economic globalization towards more open, inclusive and mutually beneficial development,” the expert said.
“It is also a solid foundation for building a new model of international relations,” Mammadov added. “Therefore, the participation of Azerbaijan and China in this project is a complementary factor in bilateral cooperation.”
“The geographical advantage of Azerbaijan as an important transport center between Europe and Asia opens up new transport opportunities for our country in the region,” the expert added.
"In particular, container transportation via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway promotes the active cooperation of Chinese and Azerbaijani enterprises in the field of international transport and logistics," Mammadov said.
The expert reminded that the Azerbaijani government organized a presentation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway transit corridor project and the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor in Beijing in February 2017.
"Of course, this is another opportunity to increase the level of interconnection and create optimal conditions between the countries along the entire route from China to Azerbaijan, which in the long run promises the simplification of the possibilities for using the Trans-Caspian sea transport routes and reducing transport costs," Mammadov said.
In his words, there are great opportunities for the two countries including the opportunities for cooperation in tourism sector.
"The memorandum of understanding between the Government of Republic Azerbaijan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the facilitation of group trips of Chinese tourists to the Republic of Azerbaijan is aimed at expanding cooperation and today we are already observing positive dynamics in the development of tourist flows to Azerbaijan," he said.
Mammadov stressed that the wide scope of cooperation between the two countries, based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and benefit, is a promising incentive for further interaction in priority spheres of the economy, trade and other sectors.
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