Czech Republic Suggests Azerbaijan to Transfer to High Form of Trade and Commercial Relations

Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 July /corr. Trend I.Khalilova / Azerbaijan is not satisfied with the current trade and commercial relations with Czech Republic in the non-oil sector, and the key goal of holding business forum is to develop them, Azerbaijan's Minister of Economic Development, Heydar Babayev, said during Azerbaijani-Czech business forum in Baku on 4 July.

According to the Azerbaijan statistics, in 2007 the trade turnover between the countries totaled nearly $20mln. Mainly equipment for road construction, metal structure, chemical products are imported from the Czech Republic. The structure of non-oil export of Azerbaijan comprises agricultural products, in particular, forest nuts. According to the Czech statistics, the gross trade turnover exceeds $1bln, of which large part fell on oil products sold to the Czech Republic by the oil traders.

"We obtain information on their amounts from the Czech side because they conduct calculation on the basis of the certificates of the origin of goods, according to which large part of the oil products of Azerbaijan is bought by this country because its oil-refineries prefer to work with our oil," said the Minister. "Certainly, as compared to other several countries, the trade turnover in amount of $1bln is a big indicator, but we do not intend to stop on this," the Minister told.

Babayev considers that the expansion of commodity range will make it possible to maintain the foreign-trade relations at the stable level. According to the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg, who headed the Czech business-delegation, Azerbaijan's energy resources cover 1/10 part of the needs of the Czech Republic. Last year goods totaling $60mln, which makes up 7% of gross trade turnover, were exported to Azerbaijan. He considers that this situation can be changed through an increase in the export of construction materials. In his opinion, in addition to business-contacts, the forum will make it possible to establish highest forms of co-operation - realization of investment projects, creation of joint ventures and establishment of co-operation of scientific research teams.

"The development of commercial and economic relations is the basis of Czech diplomacy, and the goal of visit to Azerbaijan is to strengthen the existing contacts and search opportunities for the Czech business", said Schwarzenberg.He considers that after Czech Republic's entrance to the European Union in 2004, its opportunities increased in exporting equipment for the production of construction materials, rail and city transport, machine-building and processing industry.

"The Czech Republic is interested in establishing not only political, but also commercial and economic relations in entire South Caucasus, said Czech Minister. Although the instability in the political situation negatively affects Europe, it is important for us to stabilize the situation in the region, which is possible by attracting economies in the mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU countries, including with the Czech Republic".

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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