Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.7 / Trend, T.Konyayeva /
Korea and Azerbaijan consider prospects for further development of cooperation mechanisms, as well as organizing meetings of the Economic Commission, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to Azerbaijan Jiha Lee told Trend.
He said there are several cooperative mechanisms between the two governments. "As you know we organize annual meetings every year for consultations between the foreign ministers. Also, discussions were held between the ministers of transport, ministers of agricultures and ministers of environment of the two countries in 2010," he said.
With regard to cooperation in different sectors, Jiha Lee said that this year the two governments agreed on seven cooperation projects. The Korean government and KOICA invited this year about 80 Azerbaijan officials for training course.
"Regarding the cooperation in the private sector I should note that it is not enough developed," he said.
According to him, there are several companies such as SK C&C which is dealing with the intellectual transport management system and also another Korean company Ultra Construction and Engineering Co. which is working for the construction of a road between Ganja and Yevlah, and another company Dong Sang Engineering which is doing several projects for the construction, for example, of SOCAR's main building.
Trade relations also develop rapidly. Trade turnover was very low by 2005 - $47 million. But this figure significantly increased in 2008. Last year this figure hit $446 million. "I think that these figures will increase each year," the ambassador said.
According to Jiha Lee, our two countries are actively cooperating in transportation. Korean buses operate in Baku now. The two ministries of transport signed a contract to supply Azerbaijan with 1,800 buses. Roughly 1,300 buses were imported. The rest 500 buses will be brought to the country by late 2010.
He said KOICA began the feasibility study in July this year. It will be finished by July next year. The Korean government allocated $1.6 million to realize this phase of the project. If the results of the feasibility study are positive and financial conditions are good. Korean companies will to participate in this project very actively. The construction of this bridge will resolve the transportation problem in Baku. At present, Azerbaijan is constructing a ring road in Baku. The bridge will ensure its effectiveness.
"I hope that the results of the feasibility study will allow continuing realizing this project. But it depends not only on Korean companies. It depends on discussions between Korea and Azerbaijan. This enormous project is worth $2 billion. We are ready to find models of financing. But at this moment we should wait for the results of the feasibility study. Several experts are working over this project. I hope they will find the ways of financing," he said.
Regarding the project of the intellectual transport management system in Baku Jiha Lee said that within this project all necessary studies have been conducted, basic detailed designs have been received, the real basic work in the field of electricity and communication was launched in September.
According to the plans, the system will be commissioned until next year. All the work will be finished by April next year. Afterwards, the tests will be conducted within seven months. So, the system will function properly by November 2011.