Azerbaijan President receives delegation of Movement of French enterprises

Azerbaijan President receives delegation of Movement of French enterprises

Azerbaijan`s President Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation of MEDEF, Movement of the French Enterprises, Azertaj State News Agency reported.

The President informed the French entrepreneurs about ongoing economic development processes in Azerbaijan.

President Ilham Aliyev said the two countries enjoy good economic relations, praising activity of French companies in Azerbaijan as successful.

The President recalled his meetings with representatives of MEDEF in France, and described the talks as "effective".

The Azerbaijani leader said the country`s economy had been developing at a very rapid pace over the last few years.

"Azerbaijan has led the world in terms of the economic development rate. We have considerably diversified our economy in the last few years. Ensuring competitiveness of the economy is among key priorities for us."

"The World Economic Forum`s report ranked Azerbaijan 51st, which means first spot in the CIS. And this is the result of our economic policy, economic reforms, diversification and changes. Moreover our achievements with respect to transparency have been recognized by the Doing Business report. We also lead the world in the volume of per capita foreign investment. And, surely, all these factors create a favorable investment climate in the country."

The President said: "Currently the share of the Gross Domestic Product in the private sector is 85 percent. We've managed to have diversified our economy thanks to investments put in the non-energy sector and infrastructure."

President Ilham Aliyev also mentioned a recent fall in oil prices, saying it "did not seriously affect our economy".

"Azerbaijan enjoys an image of a country protecting foreign investments."

"French companies can be actively involved in different projects in our country. The laying of a foundation stone for a waste-to-energy plant is a vivid evidence to this. The facility will help improve the environmental situation in our capital."

The President said: "We welcome French investments, and not only in the energy sector. I`m very pleased that Total has recently started developing one of the promising fields."

"However I think the non-energy sector is also very attractive for investments, and the most promising sectors here can be agriculture and information technologies. We spend big funds on ICT, in addition, we place a particular importance to developing the space industry. We plan to launch our own satellite soon. I believe we`ll get it done in several years."

President Ilham Aliyev also praised the work of the Azerbaijan Investment Company, calling it "a success".

"There is a very big potential to build cooperation in this field."

The Azerbaijani leader expressed confidence the MEDEF delegation`s visit to Baku would be successful.

Mrs. Pascale Jeannin-Perez, head of the MEDEF delegation, said French companies were interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan.

"Our countries` business circles enjoy strong relations. We`ve come here with a large delegation of businessmen from the fields of energy, transport, banking and legal expertise."

Jeannin-Perez said: "Some of these companies have already been operating in your country. The share of French companies in Azerbaijan`s market is growing yearly. France is the fourth largest investor in Azerbaijan."

She also expressed hope the MEDEF delegation`s visit would help "define general picture of our cooperation".

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