European, Islamic Games - opportunity for Azerbaijan to develop relations with other countries – IDB

European, Islamic Games - opportunity for Azerbaijan to develop relations with other countries – IDB

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 6

By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

The First European Games and IV Islamic Solidarity Games, which will be held in Baku, are a very big opportunity for Azerbaijan to develop relations with other countries, chairman of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD), which is part of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Khaled Al-Aboodi told Trend May 5.

"This is a great opportunity for people from different countries to know each other and exchange experiences," he said. "People have heard about Azerbaijan, but if they do not come here, they will not be able to really know the country. For me personally, Azerbaijan is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. As you know, for me it is not the first visit to the country. I have already been to Azerbaijan, but having been here once, one wants to come back here again and again."

Holding such events may also contribute to additional inflow of investments, according to Al-Aboodi.

"Tourists who will visit Azerbaijan, will tell about the country to the others, and in the future this may attract new investors as well," he said. "I think that holding such big events is a very good step [for Azerbaijan]."

Azerbaijan's tourism potential is increasing as does the flow of tourists into the country. As Azerbaijan's Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev said at the Caspian Energy Forum - 2015, the country aims to increase the flow of tourists by 30-40 percent within several years. Garayev said Azerbaijan plans to be receiving some 5 million of tourists annually by 2020.

ICD head also congratulated the Azerbaijani government on holding the first European Games and IV Islamic Solidarity Games.

Baku 2015 is the first-ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent that will take place on June 12-28, 2015.

There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

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