Baku, October 21, AZERTAC
UAE-based "The Naitonal" newspaper has published an article highlighting Azerbaijani-UAE relations.
Written by Frank Kane, the article says: "Simultaneously, with Azerbaijan's strategic push into international sports marketing and the staging of big sporting events, he has developed a keener interest in sport. Being Azerbaijan's emissary requires many diplomatic judgment calls. The country proudly values the independence it gained from the former Soviet Union in 1991, and was the first former Communist country to do a strategic commercial alliance with the capitalist world – a tie-up with western oil companies, led by BP, in the "deal of the century" in 1994.”
“In the background all the time is the 20-year-old "frozen war" with Armenia, which occupies 25 per cent of Azerbaijan territory despite repeated calls from the international community to withdraw.
The UAE was one of the first countries to recognise Azerbaijan 24 years ago, and there has been a permanent intergovernmental commission between the two countries since 2006 to promote trade and economic ties. But this year there has been a new flurry of business and commercial activity, including a round of agreements clinched during an official visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” he says.
“The relationship also works the other way. The UAE is the fifth-biggest foreign investor in Azerbaijan, which imports consumer goods and construction equipment from the Arabian Gulf to help with the planned diversification of the Azerbaijan economy, an area where the UAE can lend experience.”
“That diversification has been a priority for Azerbaijan under the president Ilham Aliyev, who has used the oil wealth of the Caspian shores to invest in infrastructure and other non-oil capital expenditure. Baku has emerged as one of the most dynamic cities in the region – the "Dubai of the Caspian", as it is sometimes called. The benefits of diversification have been demonstrated over the past year, as oil prices have plummeted with knock-on effects for Azerbaijan's economy and public finances," the article says.