Swiss president on official visit to Azerbaijan

2 June 2014 09:42 (UTC+04:00)

By Aynur Jafarova

Swiss President Didier Burkhalter started his official visit to Azerbaijan on June 2.

A ceremonial guard of honor was lined up for the Swiss President at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.

Burkhalter was welcomed by Azerbaijan's First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov and other officials.

Switzerland is one of the largest investors in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan's fast-growing economy. Some 81 companies with Swiss capital are operating in service, industry, trade, construction, transport, communications, financing, and other fields in Azerbaijan.

So far, $70 million has been granted to Azerbaijan by the Swiss government. Switzerland invested $185.3 million in Azerbaijan's non-oil sector in 1995-2013.

The necessary legal framework was established between the two countries, and more than 20 bilateral documents were signed, including the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments, trade and economic cooperation, and the avoidance of double taxation.

Azerbaijani companies are also interested in the Swiss economy. Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR has already invested 380 million Swiss francs ($322.3 million), and the company's representative office is operating in Switzerland.

The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $47.82 million in January-April 2014.