Xinhua: Azerbaijan-China ties reach high level of political dialogue, economic cooperation: official

Baku, April 1, AZERTAC

The Chinese Xinhua agency has published an interview with Deputy Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Foreign Relations Department Arastu Habibbayli on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In his exclusive interview with the agency, Arastu Habibbayli said relationship between Azerbaijan and China has reached a high level of political dialogue and active economic cooperation.

He said the coming April 2 marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, adding that relations between China and Azerbaijan developed successfully on the basis of principles of friendship and mutual productive partnership.

Stressing that both China and Azerbaijan are important players in various international transport and logistics projects, Habibbayli emphasized that the countries are working actively to realize great potential of cooperation.

He said Azerbaijan will be an important component of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. According to Habibbayli, the project will bring valuable opportunities to Azerbaijan, particularly in terms of the transit fees and industrial cooperation opportunities.

"Relations between China and Azerbaijan are growing fast and Azerbaijan has great potential to become a valuable partner in the Silk Road project - one of the great initiatives of the 21st century," he said.

He outlined the importance of the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to China in December 2015, adding that reciprocal visits contribute to the steadily development of ties between the two countries.

China and Azerbaijan are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.

In December 2015, President Aliyev visited China. During his visit, he signed a series of agreements with China including a memorandum of understanding over the Silk Road Economic Belt.

China is a huge opportunity and a priority market for Azerbaijan. More than 50 agreements were signed between the two countries so far. The two countries have great potential in energy, transport, agricultural products trade, high-technology and tourism.

Trade turnover between China and Azerbaijan reached 641.39 million U.S. dollars in January-September 2016, 145.81 million dollars of which account for export to China, according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee. China is one of main trade partners of Azerbaijan - the country ranks the fifth in Azerbaijan's trade turnover over the nine months of 2016, the third in Azerbaijan's import and the 12th in export.

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