Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 February / corr. Trend I. Khalilova/ The European Commission has sent a consultant to Azerbaijan to hold talks with the Azerbaijani Government on Azerbaijan joining the Eastern Regional Investment Program (ERIP) within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy Instrument (ENPI), Rufat Mammadov, the Executive Director of the Coordinating Bureau of the Technical Assistance Program (Tacis) of the European Union (EU) said.
According to Mammadov, the Belgian company ECO was elected as consultant to join ERIP. ECO experts are currently in Baku and are holding meetings at the Ministry of Economic Development, Azerbaijani Investment Company and Azerbaijani Fund of Export and Investments (AZPROMO).
The ERIP program is targeted at Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The program covers three years (2008-11) and has a budget of 7mln euros.
The program aims at establishing partnership relations with small and medium sized enterprises of EU and six member states of the program to support mutual trade and investments.
According to Mammadov, talks with the European Commission are at the first stage.
The national plan of Azerbaijan within the framework of ENPI was approved in the meeting of the Council of Cooperation of Azerbaijan-EU held on 14 November 2006.