Crofts: UK to remain largest investor in Azerbaijan (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 15
By Anakahanum Khidayatova – Trend:
In terms of bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, the UK remains a largest foreign investor and hopefully will further remain so, the British Ambassador to Azerbaijan Carole Crofts said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
“We are working closely with Baroness Nicholson [the UK special trade envoy for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan] on a number of issues,” said Crofts, adding that the bilateral relations between the UK and Azerbaijan remain as strong as ever.
So far, Britain has invested about $25 billion into the Azerbaijani economy. The lion’s share of these investments has been directed to the oil sector. Azerbaijan eyes to expand its cooperation with the UK in the non-oil sector as well, particularly in tourism, agriculture and investments.
Along with that, there are wide opportunities for the British companies to put their investments in Azerbaijan’s petrochemical industry.
Elsewhere in her comments, Crofts said Britain remains the destination of choice for Azerbaijani students.
“English is not only a language of commerce here, but a language of education, academic research, a language of technology and development. I am very fortunate and proud to be the British ambassador here,” she said.
Ambassador Crofts added that a number of delegations from the UK are going to visit Azerbaijan soon.
“I can’t give the details now. Azerbaijan will host the second meeting of intergovernmental commission between Azerbaijan and the UK early next year,” she added.
Commenting on the Brexit, Crofts said it, of course, has had an impact on Britain, but fundamental position is that Britain is and will remain a global trade nation.
According to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the UK stood at 418.06 million manats (about $262 million as of Oct. 15) in the eight months of 2016, which is 1.5 times higher than in the same period of 2015.
Exports of Azerbaijani products to the UK rose greatly this year as compared to 2015.
In the eight months of 2016, the value of the Azerbaijani exports stood at 54.9 million manats (about $34 million as of Oct. 15), going up by 11.4 times.