Azerbaijan and US Discuss Prospects of Economic Cooperation
Azerbaijan, Baku, 28 June / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / The second meeting of the Azerbaijani-American intergovernmental commission on the economic cooperation will be held in Washington, Frank Mermurd, special representative of the United States Department of State on business and trade issues, said to Heydar Babayev, Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister.
According to the results of the first meeting held in Baku on 7 February 2007, a memorandum on the five projects was signed.
Representative of the Department of State considers that the intergovernmental commission plays a relevant role to extend the economic relations between the countries. Within the framework of the visit, Mermurd discussed participation of American company Bechtel in transport projects.
Recently, American businessmen are successfully performing in different economical spheres in Azerbaijan, particularly in the oil and gas spheres. According to the Minister, American businessmen may increase their investments into the non-oil sector by expansion of ties with Azerbaijani investment companies and Azerbaijani Export and Investment Promoting Company.
" Azerbaijan is interested in expansion of relations and to develop cooperation with the United States," Babayev said.
Mermurd showed interest in Azerbaijan joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the Azerbaijani Minster, the country has already signed protocols to complete bilateral negotiations with Turkey, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The similar documents are expected to be signed with Moldova, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Recently, the bilateral negotiations on the trade and services were held with the European Union in Brussels. Babayev considers expedient to hold the next meeting in the United States.
"Totally all the measures are directed to Azerbaijan join WTO on the conditions acceptable to the country," Babayev said.
At present, the work is under way to unify the Azerbaijani legislation in compliance with demands of WTO and legal acts are expected to be developed to the end of the year.
The specific gravity of the United States (21.5%) in total investments into the Azerbaijan's economy takes one of the leading positions. Total volume of American investments in Azerbaijan made up $207,584mln from January to May 2008 and $653,726mln in 2007.
The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]