ECONOMY


Saudi Minister Khalid Abdulaziz Al-Falih: We will encourage big enterprises like SAAB and Maaden to come and invest in Azerbaijan

Baku, April 27, AZERTAC

In an exclusive interview with AZERTAC`s correspondent, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Khalid Abdulaziz Al-Falih has highlighted relations between the two countries, and shared his views about cooperation between SOCAR and Saudi Aramco.

“We have great relationship with Azerbaijan and this ties span political, economic, as well as people-to-people and cultural bonds,” said the minister. He said these relations are very strong and are getting stronger day by day. “Azerbaijan has been a key member of the agreement between OPEC and Non-OPEC countries and has already started the recovery of the oil markets. Azerbaijan remained true to its word and promise. We are very happy and we hope to continue cooperation with Azerbaijan.”

On opportunities of building-up cooperation between Saudi Aramco and SOCAR, Khalid Abdulaziz Al-Falih said: “I think it is a promising relationship that hopefully will open many channels of investment for both companies.”

“Our two governments, two peoples are complete allies. We feel we are on an agreement on every big issue that is of concern for two nations, two regions – the Middle East and Caspian region. Our positions are always one and same. I also would like to mention that His Majesty, Custodian of Two Holy Mosque Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud asked me to convey his highest warm regards to His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev, the leadership of Azerbaijan and people of the country. That is well valued and well appreciated.”

In terms of oil policy of both countries as well as their approach to the oil markets, the Saudi minister said: “We realize that markets can only prosper if the interests of producers and consumers are protected, supply and demand is balanced. We don’t have shortages. Last year we consulted with our friends and colleagues and with Azerbaijan. There was need to come together and have moderate reduction of supply that will bring the market more into balance.” Azerbaijan has committed to cut 35,000 barrels from their production, Khalid Abdulaziz Al-Falih said.

On Saudi Arabia`s commitment, the minister commented: “Our country has also committed to bring its production to about 10.06 million barrels per day. We have been below that level so far this year. We tend to stay below until the end of this agreement in June. We consulted between the two ministries and our delegation about what to do next. We need to bring global inventories to five-year average. We will make that decision. Our next meeting will be held in Vienna on May 24-25. We will listen to the views of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is the leading oil province they are the first one to produce oil before Saudi Arabia. Therefore, Azerbaijan`s understanding and how they sitting is important to us. I am optimistic about the oil market. All of us will be pragmatic enough to do the right thing which is to bring this market into balance.”

On cooperation of Saudi and Azerbaijani entrepreneurs to develop the non-oil field, the minister said: “Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan have many things in common, including our heritage and our culture and values. Both countries depend on hydrocarbons for the exports and foreign currency.” “It’s important to diversify not to move away from oil but to build other sectors that will allow non-oil exports,” said Khalid Abdulaziz Al-Falih. “Saudi Arabia has envisioned 2030, which is very much about diversification and building non-oil industries and economic sectors,” he added.

“We will be sharing our experience implementing the vision of 2030 with Azerbaijani plans so far and building the non-oil sector. Both countries will benefit from this exchange of views on implementation of this very ambitious plan. We hope Saudi Arabia will assist Azerbaijan by investing here. We will encourage both our big enterprises like SAAB and Maaden to come and invest in Azerbaijan, as well as the in private sector. We have many companies, individuals, funds that are looking for safe high growth economies to invest. I certainly see Azerbaijan in that category. We will encourage them to come and to be part of this industrial and economic diversification story,” he concluded.

Anar Rzayev

Correspondent

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