Business forum of Azerbaijani and Georgian entrepreneurs has been held on 19 July at the Baku business center, in which the Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli took part, Trend reports. The Ambassador of Georgia to Azerbaijan Zurab Gumberidze and some governmental officials also participated in the event.
The Azerbaijani side has been represented by the Vice Premier Abbas Abbasov, deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Georgia Ramiz Hassanov and other officials.
Within the forum the Prime Minister of Georgia got acquainted with the goods produced in Azerbaijan and made a tour of the exhibition at the Baku business center. Abbasov informed of the close relations between the two countries and the lines of the development. He noted, that favorable conditions have been created in Azerbaijan for the development of economy.
"The foreign trade turnover of Azerbaijan in 1995 was $1,3 billion, in 2004 it reached $7,1 billion. The GDP growth in 2004 as compared to 2003 was 10,2%, the industrial production - 5,7%, the agricultural production вЂ" 4,6%, the money income of the population - 20,7%,
the average monthly salary вЂ" 26,2%", he said.
The Vice Premier also reported about the positive achievements in the private sector, which share in the GDP structure is 73,5%. Over $22 billion have been invested in the countryвЂ™s economy in 1996-2004, among them $16,4 billion fall at the foreign investments.
Abbasov also told on the large-scale energy projects, such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), the South Caucasus gas pipeline, the TRACECA transport corridor and other.
Abbasov reported, that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Georgia for January-May 2005 as compared to the similar period of the last year grew by 1,6 times and made up $84,2 million. В"In 2004, over 400,000 tons of oil products have been delivered to Georgia, such as gasolene, mazut, diesel fuel and other for the amount of $115 million. For 5 months of 2005 over 175,4 thousand oil products have been delivered. In 2004, 6, 4 million tons of oil were exported through Baku-Supsa pipeline вЂњ, he noted.
The Vice Premier said, that the discussions on energy, transport and other issues have been held with the Georgian side.
Abbasov also said, that 55 Georgian companies are operating in Azerbaijan, among which 29 of them are with the 100% Georgian capital, 6 are Joint Ventures. There are 82 Azerbaijani enterprises in Georgia, among them 59 вЂ" with the 100%-Azerbaijani capital, 16 вЂ" Joint ventures.
Nogaideli, having assessed highly the level of the economic development between Azerbaijan and Georgia, reported, that the commission will facilitate the expansion of ties between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
He told on the reforms carried out in Georgia. " This reform is not less important than the tax reform, held in the country and which came into effect early this year. By about 400-500 million lari has been decreased the tax burden for the countryвЂ™s economy.
On the background of such reforms in Georgia the privatization process is going on, to which I would like to draw the attention of the Azerbaijani businessmen. I want to call on the Azerbaijani business circles to be involved actively in this process. To this end the Georgian Embassy in Baku has been instructed to deliver the relevant information to the persons concernedвЂќ, he noted.