Interview of Trend with Mr. Piotr G. Wozniak, Minister of Economy, also co-chair of the Azerbaijani-Polish intergovernmental commission
Question: Is the date of the next meeting of the Azerbaijan inter-governmental commission on economic co-operation to be held in Baku known?
Answer: The date and meeting place of the inter-governmental commission on economic co-operation is not established yet. It is necessary to call co-chair of the commission from Azerbaijan side. Chairman of commission on economic co-operation from Polish side is Mr. Piotr G. Wozniak, Minister of Economy. All matters interrelated with calling of commission, assignation of the debates order, date and place of its first execution and its topics will be a subject to negotiations with representatives of Republic of Azerbaijan, during scheduled visit of Mr. Piotr Wozniak to Baku on 6 7 April, 2006.
Question: What are the major issues on agenda of the gathering?
Answer: We are interested in possibly quick execution of the meeting. During its works we are going to touch issues connected with mutual co-operation, to intensify trade exchange, important matters related to industrial projects and also field of power engineering.
Question: What spheres of Azerbaijani economy are more attractive for the Polish investors? Does Poland consider opportunities of long term contacts with Azerbaijan on delivery of oil and oil products?
Answer: Considering a fact, that one of the main assignments of Polish government is to ensure energetic safety of Poland, and one of its ways is diversification of energy sources. We think that co-operation in energy sector may be improved. Especially in field of searching, exploring and excavation of oil and gas. Polish companies are mainly interested in that field, so they give their evidence of interest in participation in mutual investments as well as in gaining concession for excavation of oil and gas resources. Very interesting fields may be investments in construction and food processing industry.
Referring to delivery of oil to Poland, issues connected with co-operation in project of oil piping Odessa Brody Plock (Gdansk) are also considered. In case of interest in that project, Azerbaijan could be very important partner, not only as potential provider, but also as a country of transit of oil from other countries of Caspian region.
Question: How much was the amount of the goods turnover between Azerbaijan and Poland in 2005, and what are the forecasts for 2006? Is the potential to increase turnover between the two countries?
Answer: Since few years Polish and Azerbaijan turnover is rising. In the period from January 2005 to November 2005 it achieved 55.7 mln USD. Comparing with the same period of time in 2004, export from Poland has raised for 52.1% and made all together 46.2 mln USD. Staple products exporting to Azerbaijan in 2005 were food products 32.2%, machines and mechanic devices 17.6%, chemistry articles including medicine drugs 13.4%, wood and wooden articles including furniture 5.7%.
Amount of whole import from Azerbaijan to Poland in last year was 9.5 mln USD, comparing with 2004 raised for 18.1%. Poland is importing from Azerbaijan mainly hazelnuts, 74.8% of all import during eleven months of 2005 are cotton 15.4% and propane - approximately 2.1%.
We foresee that in 2006 raising of Polish Azerbaijan trade exchange will be at least held at the same level. Polish side perceives significant, not used possibilities, to enlarge Polish export to Azerbaijan market. It refers to construction materials, medicine drugs, groceries, furniture, food articles and articles of light industry. One of the factors which definitely will help to raise import from Azerbaijan to EU territory is to adopt new laws of EU General Preference System. So most of the products imported to Poland are imposed with 0% of custom fare (hazlenuts, cotton, liquid gas). Or 2-3% custom fare (other nuts 3.9%, propylen 3%, prophanol 2%).
Supporting the Polish export to Azerbaijan, Polish Ministry of Economy, has decided to finance few Polish companies (BAKUBUILD, INTERFOOD AZERBAIJAN, BAKUMEBEL, BIHE, Xazarnefgaz) in exhibitions in Azerbaijan.
We also proposed Azerbaijan to participate as a honour quest in international trade fairs Innowacje Technologie Maszyny ITM Polska that will be held in Poznan on 1922 June 2006. Organizers are ready to offer the Azerbaijani companies attractive conditions of participation. That would be an excellent opportunity to familiarise Polish economic environments with economic potential of Azerbaijan and promote possibilities of co-operation.
We hope that intensified enterprise will help to promote co-operation between both interested sides and will decrease Azerbaijan deficit in trade exchange with our country.