Ambassador to Germany highlights Azerbaijan's economic achievements

Berlin, July 5, AZERTAC

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Germany Parviz Shahbazov has highlighted the current state of Azerbaijan's economy, the country`s economic policy and its economic ties with Germany, as well as the European countries as he was interviewed by Wirtschaft TV (Economy TV) internet television channel.

The Ambassador noted that in the last 20 years more than $200 billion had been invested in Azerbaijan. "Half of this is direct investment from abroad. A part of it was invested in oil and gas sector. A lot was invested in the non-energy sector."

The Ambassador described Azerbaijan as “traditionally industrial and agricultural country”. "Apart from the energy sector, the agricultural sphere is the most important one. Our climate allows this. Of course, it is necessary to invest in agriculture too. We have lots of opportunities for this. Revenues from the energy sector are invested in agriculture. So agriculture is a priority area in the country," Ambassador Shahbazov said.

"Information technologies and tourism sectors are also being developed in the country," he said.

Responding to a question about the Azerbaijani-European Union relations, the Ambassador said: "The European Union is our key economic partner. We have close cooperation with almost all members of the EU. For example, for Germany we rank seventh among the other oil exporters. We see huge potential for further development of these economic relations. We are exporting our energy resources to the European Union, while importing the new technology, a large number of engineering, as well as food products from there. We will develop relations with the European Union even further."

The diplomat emphasized that Azerbaijan mainly exported agricultural products. He expressed his confidence that thanks to positive development of this area the share of agricultural exports would increase.

Shahbazov underlined Azerbaijan's cooperation with its other “important” partners as Turkey, Russia, Iran and Georgia.

"We are cooperating with the countries of Central Asia via the Caspian Sea. We have contributed to the development of transport infrastructure for further development of the relations with these countries, particularly the countries located on the Silk Road or in the North-South axis.”

Highlighting the trade relations with Germany, the Ambassador said: "We have always enjoyed good economic relations with Germany. After Russia, Germany's second Chamber of Commerce opened in Baku in 2012. It means that Germany sees Azerbaijan's potential. The opening of the Chamber of Commerce has made a significant contribution to the development of economic relations between the two countries. Nearly 170 German companies are currently operating in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani-German Economic Forum was held as part of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Berlin at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. President Ilham Aliyev and Vice-Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel attended the forum. German companies demonstrated great interest in the forum, where more than 60 Azerbaijani companies attended the forum. We expect a large number of visits of the economic delegations to Azerbaijan as the continuation of the forum."

In response to a question on how President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Germany would influence the development of relations, the Ambassador said that such visits were of crucial importance in expanding ties between the two countries. "In order not to be dependent on the oil price we aim to continue the diversification of our economy. By 2020, the share of gross domestic product in energy sector should be reduced to 20 per cent. We pay particular attention to the non-energy sector. Despite the current low oil prices we are implementing huge energy projects. A large-scale project to be implemented is the Southern Gas Corridor project which is due to transport the Caspian gas to the South Eastern Europe," Shahbazov said.

Vugar Seyidov

Special Correspondent

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