U.S support Azerbaijan in joining WTO: former assistant secretary
Washington, USA, Nov. 10 / Trend N. Bogdanova /
The U.S.A still strongly support Azerbaijan in joining the World Trade Organization, former Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Daniel Sullivan said.
Joining the World Trade Organization - an aspiration that Azerbaijan has pursued and the U.S. strongly supports - promises to be one of the fastest ways for the country to seize the benefits of foreign markets and attract international investors, Sullivan said.
While several major U.S. firms, such as Chevron and Exxon, operate in Azerbaijan's energy industry, the U.S.A would frankly like to see more of its investment in the non-oil sectors, he said.
U.S companies can help Azerbaijan diversify its economy by bringing new technologies and skill sets.
Azerbaijan has already made significant strides in improving the country's infrastructure and regulatory environment. "These efforts earned it the distinction of being the "Top Reformer" in the World Bank's Doing Business Report in 2009. Azerbaijan also became the first country to comply with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which sets the global standard for transparency in oil, gas, and mining", he said.
Speaking of the energy cooperation, Sullivan stressed that the two countries have a long partnership in major strategic energy projects that have created linkages between West and East.
"It is important that Turkey and Azerbaijan build on this momentum and soon reach an agreement on gas pricing, transit, and any remaining issues needed to make the Southern Corridor a reality. Nabucco and such projects have not only unlocked Caspian energy resources for the world, but have also fueled Azerbaijan's economy and secured a more independent economic future for the Azerbaijani people," Sullivan said.
Washington hopes that Azerbaijan and its neighbors will continue to develop their production of oil and gas, he said.
"I assure that the United States stands ready to keep working closely with Azerbaijan, our other friends in the region, and the private sector to strengthen and expand global energy supply," Sullivan said.
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