Italy intends to increase export to Azerbaijan – minister

Italy intends to increase export to Azerbaijan – minister

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 15

By Anahanum Khidayatova - Trend:

Italy intends to increase export to Azerbaijan, Minister of Economic Development of Italy Federica Guidi told Trend April 15, commenting on the issue of development of cooperation between the two countries.

The bilateral collaboration between Azerbaijan and Italy is already excellent, she said.

"We would like to promote as much as possible export from Italy towards Azerbaijan not only for single projects but also for long term cooperation agreement and maybe for having here some more joint venture companies between Italian and Azerbaijani entrepreneurs," she said.

Regarding the energy supplies from Azerbaijan to Italy, Federica Guidi said that TAP will be one of the most important, crucial infrastructures in order to have energy security and efficiency in Italy.

According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $554.8 million (13.73 percent of a total volume of foreign trade operations of Azerbaijan) in January-February 2015. Some $485.7 million (20.8 percent of the country's exports) accounted for the export. Among the foreign trade partners of Azerbaijan, Italy yielded to the US for the first time this year, by ranking second. But it retained the first position among importers of Azerbaijani products.

TAP is a part of the huge Southern Gas Corridor project, which envisages transportation of gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.

The approximately 870 km-long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.

The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it can easily be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters per year as the new volumes of gas come on stream.

TAP's shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (five percent). Construction of TAP is planned to begin in 2016.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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