Trend Interview with Advisor of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Azerbaijan, Hans-Josef Over
- What issues will be included in the agenda of the upcoming official visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Germany on February 14-16, 2007? What bilateral documents will be signed as a result of the negotiations?
As a number of subjects that are going to be discussed within the meetings of the President, Ilham Aliyev, in Germany with Chancellor and other Ministers, one of course is the issue on co-operation in the fuel energy because Azerbaijan is an important contributor to energy security in the world, but also on bilateral questions like supporting Azerbaijan in the modernization of country and in the diversification of the economy.
To my knowledge, one of the documents that are supposed to be signed during the visit is the document concerning the bilateral agreement on Credit Guarantee Founds
- How do you assess the level of the commercial-economical co-operation between Azerbaijan and Germany and in Your opinion, what spheres are of more priority?
- Over the recent years, there have been remarkable progresses in the mutual trade. For instance, if in 2004 the amount of the bilateral trade had been nearly в'¬400 mln, last year this figure exceeded в'¬1 bln.
Presently the export of Azerbaijan to Germany is more than import. In 2006 Azerbaijan exported commodities to Germany in amount of в'¬568 mln and Germany exported commodities in amount of в'¬447 mln to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan provides Germany with oil and oil products and Germany provides Azerbaijan with cars, spare parts, agricultural products, foodstuffs.
- Is work carried out to create Azerbaijan-German Intergovernmental Economical Co-operation Commission?
- In the future we are going to create such organ which will firstly be called as Economic Forum at high level. In addition, the delegations will meet regularly.
- How do you assess the prospects of the co-operation of Germany and Azerbaijan in the energy sphere? What perspective directions of this co-operation can be noted?
- There are several spheres within which special close co-operation is carried out, for instance these spheres include production and exploration of oil and gas fields. In addition, negotiations are held between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and German companies. Presently there are many German companies that want to assist Azerbaijan in the policy of diversification, food industry and agriculture.
To my knowledge, together with the President of Azerbaijan, nearly 40 business people of Azerbaijan will leave for Germany to participate at Azerbaijani-German business-forum scheduled for February 16. Therefore, these businessmen are going to participate at the forum with concrete projects like food processing, chemical industry.
- The German Companies Wintershall and BASF were planning to renew the co-operation with Azerbaijan in the energy sphere. What is the status in that direction?
- Wintershall and BASF are various companies, but the first one is the daughter company of BASF. Wintershall is not only Company of Germany that co-operates with SOCAR. There are two more companies that want t establish relations, especially in the energy sphere. I think that we will note results in a couple of months.
- What measures are taken to resolve the question of illegal Azerbaijan migrants?
- We have been continuing the negotiations on this issue for already several years. The Governments of the two countries hold negotiations on this issue. German delegation arrived and discussed this question in Azerbaijan in November 2006. Both governments believe that we will come to conclusion on repatriation of these people and the work in this sphere will continue.
- Germany will chair the European Union in 2007. What assistance can Germany provide in strengthening the co-operation of Azerbaijan with the European Union?
- The most significant part of this assistance is the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan adopted in 2006. This Plan stipulates that the European Union and Azerbaijan will co-operate in various issues, including energy sphere. In addition, Memorandum of Understanding was signed between EU and Azerbaijan and the work will continue in this sphere.