The Azerbaijan State News Agency

ECONOMY

London Stock Exchange Group to host 2nd major Caspian Corridor conference

Baku, February 13 (AZERTAC). Business and government leaders from London and across the Caspian region will meet again to explore growing bilateral economic opportunities.

The Caspian Corridor Conference, supported by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), Britain Azerbaijan Business Council (BABC), and Asia House, will take place at London Stock Exchange on 7 March, 2014, bringing together global leaders of government, business, academia and media to examine the economic developments and opportunities in the region. This follows the great success of the inaugural Caspian Corridor Conference that was held at Lancaster House in London in 2012.

The Caspian Corridor region ("the region") includes, among others, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Increased efforts to diversify these economies, promote strong regional economic cooperation and stability in the region has led to high economic growth rates which are set to continue in the coming years. According to the IMF, GDP growth rate for the region will be sustained at around 6 per cent in 2014. With diversification of the economies, development of the financial services sector, and investment in regional and national infrastructure, opportunities for international trade and investment are set to grow.

The Caspian Corridor Conference will examine the region's growth engines, its close ties with the UK and London, and offer key business intelligence on the region. The conference will draw high profile speakers from businesses across the region's highest performing sectors and policy makers from the region, and the UK, enabling valuable connections for future engagement.

The conference will also look at the specific paths ahead for the Caspian Corridor countries. With threefold growth and the creation of 1.2 million jobs over the past decade, Azerbaijan continues to be attractive to investors. Like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan is increasingly diversifying its economic output and continuing to grow its range of exports to the West. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan's chemical industry is one of its fastest growing sectors and the country is also heavily expanding its maritime infrastructure, aiming to double cargo turnover to nearly 16 million tons by 2017.

Commenting on the conference, Chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan Jahangir Hajiyev said: "The inaugural Caspian Corridor Conference was a great success and further initiated important dialogue between London and the business community in the Caspian region. I am certain that the 2014 conference will build on this foundation and continue to strengthen the ever closer ties between the United Kingdom and the Caspian Corridor countries, as well as CIS financial markets. We are proud that the UK is the largest foreign investor in Azerbaijan and are committed to building stronger and more expansive relationships with the UK and other international investors in the region."

Xavier Rolet, CEO of London Stock Exchange Group, commented: "We're delighted to support the second Caspian Corridor Conference. Business ties between the UK and this dynamic region are growing stronger and we expect this to continue through 2014 and beyond. A conference that brings representatives from the Caspian Corridor to London creates real value, building relationships and identifying opportunities."

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