Baku, July 4, AZERTAC
Ambassador of India to the Republic of Azerbaijan Sanjay Rana has met Caspian Energy’s delegation headed by President and Editor-in-Chief of Caspian Energy International Media Group Natalya Aliyeva.
In the course of the meeting, they discussed ways of expansion of contacts within the framework of the Caspian European Club (Caspian Business Club) and Caspian Energy International Media Group on the informational level.
The Ambassador noted that Caspian Energy journal was well known and represented a very important area of business. “I have been following interviews and articles published in it and look forward to having more relations in future”, the Ambassador said.
“We definitely would like to invite Azerbaijani companies to invest in India. As you know, Azerbaijan is very strong in oil and gas sector. And with the Indian economy growing at a healthy rate, it is one of the core sectors in India”, Sanjay Rana emphasized.
“It’s very good that in Azerbaijan, the rules for foreign companies to get registered and do business are being reformed and made easier, the Ambassador of India stated.
“India and Azerbaijan have very close friendly relations and we would also like to develop further these relations in the area of business, trade, investment in the coming months and years. The Government of Azerbaijan is very proactive; and from India we are also actively taking steps to make it easier for Azerbaijani companies to do business in India”, Ambassador Sanjay Rana noted.
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s economic sectors in which the Ambassador sees presence of Indian investors, he noted: “India’s ONGC Videsh which is our main international oil company has invested around US $ One billion dollars when it bought the shares of Hess Corporation in the Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli oilfield and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. Our national oil companies are keen to increase their share in the oil exploration and they will be happy to look the opportunities for the investment in oil sector and petrochemical industry in Azerbaijan. We have seen active steps being taken by the Government of Azerbaijan aimed at developing the non-oil sector and we would be happy to partner Azerbaijan in these efforts. Indian companies are keen to look at coming opportunities in non-oil sectors, such as agriculture, which is being given a lot of support by the Government of Azerbaijan. Indian companies are very strong in pharmaceuticals and information technology; they would be interested in setting up their industries here, particularly in the industrial and technological Parks being set up here”, Rana noted.
“India is the fourth largest consumer of petroleum products in the world. We also are big refinery hub and India is the second largest refiner in Asia. We have substantial gas reserves in India”, the Ambassador said and emphasized that India also has big reserves of shale gas. “Several international companies like BP, Cairn Energy, Shell, BG Group have invested in India. Investment opportunities are in Upstream, gas pipeline, CGD network, LNG Terminal, Petrochemical and Refinery. The National Exploration Licensing Policy provides a contract framework for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons through a competitive bidding system. It is a transparent and level playing field for Indian private and national oil companies as well as foreign investors - all enjoy the same fiscal and contract terms. Investors from Azerbaijan are welcome to come and invest, and develop oil and gas fields in India. As Azerbaijan companies have capacity and expertise in these areas, we would like them to come and be more proactive in the oil and gas sector of India”, Sanjay Rana said.
The Ambassador also spoke about the development of International North-South Transport Corridor linking India with Azerbaijan and other countries in the region: “We are very keen to have closer economic relations with Azerbaijan, which we consider like a part of our extended neighborhood. We see the development of International North-South Transport Corridor which will link the western ports of India to Azerbaijan and Russia through road and railway networks passing through Iran as the best way to develop trade and business with Azerbaijan. We give the highest priority to construction of this corridor”.
“Last year India has received foreign direct investment inflows of US $ 55.46 billion which was highest ever FDI inflows and this has been possible, because in the last two years, the Government of India has brought major foreign direct investment (FDI) policy reforms in a number of sectors, which made it much easier for companies to invest in India”, the Ambassador said. He emphasized that under the ‘Make in India’ campaign, there were many opportunities for foreign investors to participate in high-value industrial sectors like defense, construction, renewable energy sources and railways Infrastructure projects.
After the meeting, the Ambassador gave an exclusive interview to Caspian Energy. In the course of the interview he spoke about the steps being taken opportunities for development of bilateral relations between India and Azerbaijan, expansion of their economic and investment cooperation and the prospects of development of the energy market. He also mentioned the measures being undertaken for development of the tourism sector, healthcare and medical tourism. The Ambassador stressed that Indian companies are keen to come here, invest and develop business relations with companies in Azerbaijan in these sectors.
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