By Ayya Lmahamad
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Serbia increased by 55.4 percent in the first five months of 2021, and by 6.3 percent in 2020, Azerbaijan’s Labor and Social Protection of Population Minister Sahil Babayev said.
He made this remark during the 6th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Serbia, with the participation of a delegation led by Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Selakovic.
Babayev emphasized that the Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed between Azerbaijan and Serbia in 2013 and the Joint Action Plan on Strategic Partnership signed in 2018 laid the foundation for the development of relations. He added that as a result of the political will and efforts of the heads of states, the relations between the two countries have risen to the level of strategic partnership.
Noting Azerbaijan’s victory in the Second Karabakh War and liberation of its territories, the minister stated that the process of restoration and reconstruction of these territories is underway. Babayev stressed that the participation of friendly countries, as well as Serbian companies, in the reconstruction work is a priority for Azerbaijan.
Moreover, he recalled that to date Azerbaijan and Serbia have signed 34 documents in various fields, and eight draft documents are under consideration.
Furthermore, he briefed on the development of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan, favorable investment climate, noting the successful activities of Serbian companies in Azerbaijan.
Babayev also informed the delegation about the newly-created Alat free economic zone. He emphasized the importance of this free economic zone, which is being created in a geographical area favorable to logistics and transport through the East-West, North-South corridors, noting that the infrastructure that will be created in this zone will be attractive to investors.
In turn, Selakovic emphasized that Serbia attaches special importance to the expansion of relations with Azerbaijan. He underlined the importance and mutual benefits of the priorities outlined during the meeting for the deepening of relations in various fields of economy.
The parties discussed the expansion of trade and economic relations, opportunities for cooperation in energy, agriculture, infrastructure, construction, transport, tourism, education, economy, etc.
Following the meeting, Babayev and Selakovic signed a protocol on the results of the 6th meeting of the commission.
The document reflects the priorities of cooperation in the areas of the economy, trade, investment, organization of economic forums and meetings between companies of the two countries, transport, infrastructure, innovation, education, labor, employment, social protection, culture, tourism, etc.
It should be noted that before the meeting, Selakovic and Babayev exchanged views on the agenda of the 6th meeting of the commission during a one-on-one meeting.
Azerbaijan-Serbian business forum
Additionally, the Azerbaijan-Serbian business forum organized by Azerbaijan’s Export and Investment Promotion Foundation was held within the 6th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Serbia.
The forum was attended by officials from both countries, and Azerbaijani and Serbian companies working in various sectors of the economy.
During the forum, information was provided on the work done in Azerbaijan to develop the non-oil sector, entrepreneurship, business and investment climate, and the successful results achieved.
Babayev stressed that business forums between businessmen of the two countries, presentations of mutual interest at these meetings are of particular importance in terms of further expanding relations and forming new areas of cooperation.
Likewise, Selakovic stated that businessmen play an active role in expanding the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, adding that such meetings provide an opportunity to discuss existing opportunities for business cooperation.
The participants of the meeting discussed issues of further cooperation.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Serbia amounted to $5 million in the first half of 2021. In addition, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $9 million in 2020.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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