By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan and Serbia will establish a joint working group on cooperation in the information and communication technologies, the Communications and High Technologies Ministry said.
The issue was discussed as part of the meeting between the Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic, who is on visit to Baku as part of the IV meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.
The sides agred to hold the first meeting of the working group in Belgrade, and the second meeting in Baku as part of the 21st international exhibition and conference Bakutel-2015 on December 2-5.
The ministers expressed their interest in developing cooperation in the field of telecommunications and information technologies. This was discussed during the fourth meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation in Baku on September 28.
Serbia has also offered Azerbaijan to conduct business forums between Azerbaijan on the one hand, and a number of Balkan countries, on the other hand, Shahin Mustafayev, the co-chairman of the commission, the Azerbaijani Economy and Industry Minister said as part of the Azerbaijani-Serbian intergovernmental commission meeting in Baku on September 28.
“We have already carried out a similar business forum in Belgrade,” he said. “We were offered to conduct business forums between Azerbaijan on the one hand, and Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the other hand. We support this proposal. We hope that this format will be further intensified and these meetings will be held at a higher level in the future.”
On his part, Rasim Ljajic said that Azerbaijan and Serbia must develop the economic relations, in particular, trade turnover.
“The trade turnover between Serbia and Azerbaijan amounted to 16 million euros in 2014,” Ljajic said. “This is a token amount of money. We must continue our work to significantly increase it. We are also very interested in Azerbaijani investments. We invite all companies from Azerbaijan to join the process of privatization of our companies. Currently, more than 500 companies pass through a tender in Serbia. We hope that Azerbaijani companies are interested in investing in Serbia.”
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Serbia amounted to 3.22 million manat in January-August 2015, which is 7.3 percent more than in the same period of last year. Virtually the entire turnover accounted for the import of Serbian products to Azerbaijan.
During the meeting, the sides also discussed cooperation in trade, industry, investment, finance, transport, energy, agriculture, information and communication technologies, health, youth, sports, etc.
The two countries plan to cooperate closely as Azerbaijan and Serbia have agreed on an air service agreement between them. Moreover, Serbia is considering the introduction of a visa-free regime with Azerbaijan.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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