Details added (first version posted on 14:50)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 29
Mutual investments in Iran and Azerbaijan will not be lost, on the contrary, they will bring good incomes, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said March 29 addressing the Azerbaijan-Iran business forum in Baku.
“We are very pleased that recently, businessmen from Iran have been showing an even greater interest in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani economy. We are always glad to see our Iranian brothers. They can successfully operate in Azerbaijan, both as investors and as contractors. The main thing is the unity of our peoples, the preservation of interstate relations at the highest level, and the future opportunities of projects implemented at our initiative. We are creating a new reality in our region. The Iranian-Azerbaijani ties have already turned into an important factor for regional security, stability and cooperation. We did it in a short period of time,” President Aliyev said.
“Additional directions for joint investments are identified. I can say with full confidence that the North-South transport corridor is being implemented thanks to very serious efforts of the Iranian and Azerbaijani sides. We constantly discuss these issues with neighboring countries. The work carried out over the past two years has created the main ground for the opening of this route. During a small presentation it was shown that in 2016-2017, the missing part of this railway was built in Azerbaijan, a bridge was built across the Astarachay River,” the Azerbaijani president said.
“The first test train ran from Azerbaijan to Iran during my visit to Iran last year. The cargo terminal is already under construction today and a historic document was signed yesterday. An agreement was signed in connection with the construction of the Astara-Rasht railway. The agreement will play a special role in the implementation of the North-South transport corridor. Thus, connecting the continents, we will get an economic profit, because transit cargo passing through our territory will amount to tens of millions of tons."
"At the same time, we are creating a new format of cooperation in the region. We have already created it, because we are actively cooperating today not only in bilateral format, but also in trilateral and quadrilateral formats,” the Azerbaijani president added.
Ilham Aliyev reminded that meetings of presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia were held in Baku in 2016 and in Tehran in 2017.
“The meetings were very important. Political, economic, transport, and energy issues were discussed at the meetings. I think businessmen of the three countries should also take advantage of existing opportunities. The Azerbaijan-Iran-Turkey trilateral cooperation format has been working for several years, and recently a new, quadrilateral format of cooperation of Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia and Turkey was realized in Baku."
Ilham Aliyev said wide opportunities in the transportation sphere are emerging for businessmen.
"As a result of the construction of the Astara-Rasht railway and the full launch of the North-South transport corridor in the future, thousands, and maybe tens of thousands of new jobs, must be opened, and entrepreneurs must open these jobs. I am confident that trade turnover will increase dramatically both in bilateral and multilateral formats,” the head of state added.
President Aliyev noted that business opportunities in the energy sphere are expanding.
“We broadly discussed this yesterday with President Hassan Rouhani, and relevant instructions were given to ministers that our plans in the field of power industry should be implemented soon. This is absolutely real, and we will achieve this,” he emphasized.
The head of state noted that a big flow of tourists is expected.
“Every year hundreds of thousands of people travel from Azerbaijan to Iran and from Iran to Azerbaijan. Not only goods, but also passengers will be transported after the opening of the railway. Therefore, big investments should also be put in the tourism infrastructure. Turning to businessmen of Azerbaijan and Iran, I invite them to this work. I am confident that mutual investments in Iran and Azerbaijan, investments in tourism infrastructure, construction of hotels and other tourism infrastructure will not be lost - on the contrary, they will bring good incomes,” the Azerbaijani president added.