Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.20
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Australian major sporting event expertise is in strong demand in Baku and 30 Australians currently hold key positions in the Baku 2015 Games Organizing Committee, Australian Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Turkey (with residence in Ankara) James Martin Larsen told Trend on Feb.20.
He said that the Australian specialists have been giving recommendations in Baku on all aspects of delivering Europe's largest sporting event.
"Much of the Australian expertise was built at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and is still sought after the world over for the delivery of major international sporting events," said the ambassador.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which 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.
Moreover, Larsen said that Australia and Azerbaijan have warm and friendly relations.
"The sheer distance between Australia and Azerbaijan has meant that cooperation to date has been somewhat limited. But cooperation between our two countries is growing," said the Australian diplomat.
He added that the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) now invests in Australia and it is now looking to become a major investor in Australia's commercial property market.
Furthermore, the diplomat said that Australia plans to invite participants from Azerbaijan to attend a roundtable in Istanbul on Australia's agriculture sector.
The ambassador added that education is one of the promising fields of cooperation between the two countries.
"Representatives from the Australian education sector plan to visit Baku in April," he said. "We are working with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Education to increase university student exchanges between Australia and Azerbaijan."
Commenting on the development of economic cooperation between the two countries, the ambassador highlighted the positive increase in trade relations, especially in export of agricultural products from Australia.
The trade turnover between the two countries is made up mostly of Azerbaijan's exports of crude petroleum to Australia, said the ambassador. "Australia exports a small amount of hand tools and dairy products to Azerbaijan."
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Australia stood at $4.937 million as of 2014, which is 2.4 times less than in 2013, according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee.
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