Sumgayit, July 18, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella have attended the inauguration of a polypropylene plant constructed in Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park under SOCAR Polymer project.
President Ilham Aliyev and President Sergio Mattarella made speeches at the event.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear President of Italy Mr. Sergio Mattarella,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a significant day in the life of our country today. We are gathered for the opening of a large industrial enterprise in Sumgayit. I sincerely congratulate you and all the Azerbaijani people on this occasion.
This ceremony is also being attended by the President of Italy, Mr. Sergio Mattarella. Mr. President, thank you for that. The participation of the President of Italy in this ceremony multiplies the importance of the enterprise. At the same time, the establishment of this enterprise is a manifestation of Italian-Azerbaijani friendship, because this large industrial enterprise has emerged as a result of international cooperation. Italian company Maire Tecnimont has completed all construction work at a high level and created such a beautiful piece of work.
As a result of the commissioning of the polypropylene plant and of a polyethylene plant before the end of this year, Azerbaijan’s export potential will be significantly increased. Both plants will manufacture 300,000 tons of products annually, and 70 per cent of that will be exported to foreign markets. Thus, Azerbaijan will completely eliminate its dependence on imports and our country will have a large volume of non-oil exports.
This is precisely what our goal is in the economic sphere and in the field of industrial production. This plant is the example of a successful economic and industrial policy Azerbaijan has pursued in recent years. The plant equipped with state-of-the-art technology is in operation today. The plant generates hundreds of jobs – more than 500 to be exact. Our dependence on imports is being completely eliminated and excellent export opportunities are emerging. The issue of personnel training has been resolved at a very high level. The plant will provide a huge support for the development of the non-oil sector. I am sure that as a result of the plant's operation, thousands and perhaps even tens of thousands of jobs will be created because finished products will be produced from the raw materials manufactured by this plant. Azerbaijan will also eliminate its dependence on imports of this product. In other words, this large industrial enterprise is an example of our policy, the result of the work done.
The foundation of this plant was laid in 2015. I remember that day quite vividly. A huge industrial enterprise was created in a short time. I can say that an industrial enterprise of such size and level had not been built in the modern history of Azerbaijan yet. True, a lot of construction work has been done in our oil and gas sector – large platforms and drilling rigs have been built, but in the non-oil sector it is the largest industrial enterprise equipped with the latest technologies.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again express my gratitude to our Italian partners. I am sure that they will continue to work successfully in Azerbaijan, and the creation of such large industrial enterprises will be continued because there is a great need for that.
Azerbaijan is modernizing and strengthening its industrial potential. Azerbaijan is successfully pursuing a policy of industrialization. In the first six months of this year, our non-oil industry grew by 8.8 per cent. This is the result of the work done. After the commissioning of this plant and of the polyethylene plant at the end of the year, our industrial potential will increase even more.
A wonderful investment climate has been created in Azerbaijan. Investments in the amount of $250 billion have been made in Azerbaijan in the past 15 years, and we see this in the example of this plant. Financial support was provided by foreign banks. This plant will use the most modern foreign technologies. The construction of the plant was provided by a well-known Italian company.
President Sergio Mattarella's official visit to Azerbaijan started today. This is a historic visit because the President of Italy is visiting Azerbaijan for the first time. The negotiations and the exchange of views held during the visit clearly demonstrate the high level of Italian-Azerbaijani relations. We are strategic partners in the true sense of the word. We are friends. We are linked through numerous projects and common interests. All these issues were discussed today. Tomorrow, President Sergio Mattarella and I will meet with Azerbaijani and Italian businessmen and talk to them. Of course, they can also follow all these events and see that political ties are at a high level. Thus, there are excellent opportunities for business circles. I am sure that both Italian and Azerbaijani companies will benefit from these opportunities and take important steps towards diversifying our trade turnover.
I mentioned during official negotiations today that Italy is our trading partner number one. This, of course, is a very positive fact. However, we want our trade relations to be multifaceted and to cover various spheres, and we will achieve that.
I am also sure that our plans related to further industrial development will be materialized. Numerous industrial enterprises built in line with the highest technologies will be created. Therefore, there will be a wide scope of work in the future, extensive opportunities for the operation of Italian companies in Azerbaijan.
I would like to once again welcome the President of Italy, Mr. Sergio Mattarella, to Azerbaijan. I should emphasize that this enterprise is being established in Sumgayit. Sumgayit is being visited by the President of a leading European state for the first time. This is very important for the history of Sumgayit. Sumgayit is a modern industrial city now. It is the second biggest industrial center of the South Caucasus after Baku. Sumgayit was established in the Soviet times as a city of the chemical industry. It has faced extremely serious environmental problems. I have informed the President about that. The environmental situation and the pollution of air were an issue of concern for the people. All this is over now. The highest environmental standards are observed in the modern and independent Azerbaijan today, and Sumgayit is one of the leading places in our country in terms of environmental activities. This plant will be of great importance for the people of Sumgayit too. Tens of thousands of people will work in the large industrial cluster to be created in Sumgayit. Thus, the city will develop successfully.
We are very delighted that the President of Italy is participating in the opening of this plant. This is a wonderful event indeed. It is a symbol of a true friendship. I salute the President of Italy and all the participants in this ceremony. I wish the plant every success. Thank you.
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Other speakers at the event included President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev and Chairman of the Maire Tecnimont Group Fabrizio Di Amato.
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The Azerbaijani and Italian presidents watched a short film on the activities of SOCAR Polymer company.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Italian President Sergio Mattarella then launched the polypropylene plant.
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