Azerbaijani Ambassador to UK: Azerbaijan, UK have strong political relations
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 27 / Trend, S.Agayeva /
Trend Interviews Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK Fakhraddin Gurbanov
Trend: What are the results of trade and investment forum "UK in Azerbaijan" held recently in London?
Fakhraddin Gurbanov: As you know, this was the second event for the past six months. The first such business forum was held in December last year with organization of the Adam Smith Institute and our embassy.
Trade and Investment Forum, held in March, plays a particularly important role in establishing and promoting ties between business circles of both countries. Together with senior representatives of government agencies the forum was attended by representatives of various companies of our country. These companies represented the non-oil sector, which is the priority for the state
The third visit of the UK trade mission to our country in June can be regarded as the first positive result. Heads of many famous companies are planned to participate in this mission . During the visit they will meet with their Azerbaijani counterparts to obtain comprehensive information about the conditions for foreign investment and business environment in general established in our country.
Q: How do you evaluate the trade-economic relations between Azerbaijan and the UK and what is required to be done for further development of cooperation?
A: Trade and economic relations between the two countries in recent years are developing dynamically. Relations between the two countries are based primarily on cooperation in the energy sector. Despite this, our main goal is the directing these relations from energy sphere to other spheres of the economy. As you know, the Azerbaijani-British Business Council.was established for this purpose.
During the short period of the activity of the Council two trade missions have visited our country and was the trade and investment forum dedicated to our country was held in March in the UK. Our plan is to make these forums traditional, to hold them regularly in Baku and London. Of course, all this contributes to the establishment of business relationships and the implementation of joint projects.
Q: How is the UK financial sector interested in entering the Azerbaijani market?
A: You have raised a very interesting question. You know that London is considered the main financial center of the world. The most modern and integrated financial service has highly developed in this country. Currently the financial sector is also developing in Azerbaijan. From this point of view, we believe that establishing beneficial cooperation between financial institutions, banks of both countries will help our countries develop this sphere. Especially Azerbaijan's withdrawal from the global financial crisis with minimal losses and the opportunities to strengthen financial sector have increased interest of the British financial circles in our country. At last meetings we have witnessed much interest in the financial sector of our country, and of course, we also render all possible assistance to ensure that this interest would bring to real results
Q: Are there favorable conditions for cooperation between the two countries in the political sphere, in particular on the main problem of Azerbaijan - Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
A: There are strong political relations between our countries and day by day, these relations are getting stronger. The interests of both countries ensure the implementation of joint cooperation and actions. The UK position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been remaining unchanged from the beginning, and it expresses support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Despite that this country is not a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, it supports negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the conflict and displays an interest in ensuring stability, peace and prosperity in the region.
Azerbaijan President made a visit to the UK in July last year. During the visit, was signed a joint communique, which reflects the relationship between the two countries in various fields. This paper has demonstrated determination to develop relations in all fields and cooperation in the future. At the moment, we continue to implement the goals of development of the relations mentioned in this document.
Q: You are also the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Ireland and Iceland. What is the current level of Azerbaijan's cooperation with these countries in economic and humanitarian spheres?
A: In addition to the countries that you mentioned, I have been accredited in the Kingdom of Denmark. Expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and these countries is an integral part of our cooperation. Constantly visits are made to the countries you mentioned, and the meetings with government agencies in these countries focus on deepening existing relationships. The Day of Azerbaijan will be marked in the largest city square in form of cultural event in Copenhagen on May 29. To promote Azerbaijani culture, the event will be attended by national music groups and singers. In addition, such an event will be held in June and in Iceland.
In the countries I have mentioned, we work closely with the existing communities of Azerbaijan and the diaspora organizations and support their further organizational development. In addition, certain steps have already been taken for a greater rapprochement with Ireland. In the near future, the representatives of İrish Entreprise, promoting exports, are supposed to attend the traditional oil and gas exhibition, where it is planned to establish contacts with business circles of Azerbaijan.