Ambassador: Spain prepares to enter Azerbaijani market

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 23 / Trend S.Agayeva /

The level of bilateral trade and economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Spain is low and does not meet the potential opportunities of the two countries, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Spain Altai Efendiev told Trend today.

According to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, the trade turnover with Spain was only $192 million in January-September, $178.5 million of which fell to exports from Azerbaijan.

"I believe this situation serves neither the interests of Spain, which ranked the 12th in the list of the most developed countries and among the top 10 before the global financial crisis, nor of Azerbaijan, which has one of most dynamic economies in the world," Efendiev said. "As Spain is highly competitive industrially, and our economy is developing dynamically, it is easy to imagine the potential for cooperation between our two states. It is a very big."

Efendiev links the poor cooperation with a lack of awareness on both sides, the absence of a legal framework, certain stereotypes and inertia on behalf of Spanish companies.

"But this situation cannot be justified," he said. "The responsibility falls on state agencies that are designed to give an impetus to and to define the dynamics of bilateral relations."

"I want to emphasize that official visits at a high level are designed to give a major impetus to the development of our relations," Efendiev said.

According to the ambassador, Azerbaijan and Spain can successfully and effectively cooperate in a wide range of areas that are of special interest to Azerbaijan - from alternative energy resources to service industries and tourism.

Spain is a global leader in alternative and renewable energy sources, boasting companies such as Iberdrola and Gamesa, he noted.

"Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared 2010 the 'Year of Ecology,'" he said. "The State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy was formed under the Industry and Energy Ministry. The most recent meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers clearly voiced the need to develop prospects in this direction. Given the similarity of our geographical and climatic conditions, I think there are great opportunities for cooperation."

Iberdrola SA is also a world leader in combined cycle power plant construction and operation, he said.

"Given the reorganization of the Azerbaijani energy sector and the shift in emphasis in power generation to natural gas, I also see good prospects for cooperation," he added.

According to the ambassador, one of the largest energy companies in Europe, Gas Natural-Fenosa, is also interested in cooperating with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) in the gas sector.

The reorganization and modernization of the country's petrochemical complex, in which leading international companies such as Repsol can take part, also are of great interest, Efendiev added. 

According to Efendiev, Azerbaijan and Spain may also actively and effectively cooperate in the development and modernization of the infrastructure and engineering and construction sectors.

"Azerbaijan is experiencing an unprecedented construction boom," he said. "The country is a large construction site. The most important direction of the current stage of development is the creation of new modern infrastructure. Here, I include the construction of modern highways and the associated infrastructure, sea and air ports, railway modernization, and upgrades to information, communications and energy infrastructure, as well as pipeline networks."

Today, Azerbaijan is laying the foundation for a giant leap in development, which will determine the degree of the economy's integration into the global community in the future.

"It is a crucial stage in the development of the country," Efendiev said.

He added that infrastructural development is fairly capital-intensive and is characterized by long-term cycles of development.

"Thus, a comprehensive approach, and quality planning, design and construction are fundamentally important in this process," he added.

Azerbaijan, he said, has reached a high level in terms of construction quality, but contemporary infrastructure as a foundation of a country's socioeconomic life is more than just construction.

"It incorporates environmental, social, technological, economic, engineering and other aspects and parameters, which unify concepts of sustainable development and quality of life," he said. "They are the core of evaluation, planning, designing, implementing and managing infrastructure. And, here, we need new approaches, techniques and technology."

Spain's experience, Efendiev said, in a sense, is one of the most vital in the world.

"The country has one of the best, if not the best in Europe, systems of high-speed railways, the most extensive network of roads, one of the world's best water supply and treatment systems, and some of the best irrigation and water conservation systems," he said. "The engineering and construction industries in Spain are among the most developed in the world. Six or seven of the world's largest engineering and construction companies are Spanish."

It is encouraging that one of these companies - OHL - has already engaged in a road project in Azerbaijan.

He also noted city and architecture planning may be adjacent spheres of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Spain.

"I am sure no one will remain indifferent in terms of how Baku and other cities and regions in Azerbaijan are developing," he said. "Today, it is, perhaps the most urgent issue affecting the interests of everyone. Baku is experiencing an unprecedented boom in its development. We witnessed that not only the look, but also the quality of life in the city were damaged as a result of chaotic construction in the 1990s. It is encouraging that now the process is under the control of the country's leadership and great importance has been placed on quality."

The world's best architects are involved in the designing activities, and top foreign construction companies are involved in building. Baku is implementing projects that are unprecedented in terms of their size and scale, including the modernization of industrial cities and ports, the expansion of the urban boulevard, and the creation of the "White City."

A master plan for a "Great Baku" is underway, he said.

"It is also important to imagine what Baku we want to see in a regional context," he said. "It is the largest center in the Caspian-Black Sea basin region. Its role and importance will grow. I am sure that Azerbaijan will be the center of this large region, which will largely determine the trends and dynamics of its development."

He added that it is necessary to take into account all of these factors and to use the best global practice in the assessment, planning, design and implementation of various projects.

"Spain has the richest experience," he said. "It is ready to share it with Azerbaijan. Similar climatic, geographical and other features unite us. The whole world knows masterpieces of Spanish architects like Gaudi, Calatrava and others, who have left an indelible imprint on the appearance of Spanish and also foreign cities."

He also noted that the tourism, agriculture, IT, banking and finance sectors are also interesting sectors for cooperation.

The ambassador stressed a growing interest among Spanish companies in Azerbaijan.

Spain is facing a severe financial crisis. This situation pushes Spanish companies to more actively seek new markets, such as Azerbaijan. Several Spanish companies decided to open offices in the country. Nevertheless, these are only first steps.

However, the dynamics and scale of Spanish-Azerbaijani economic development will depend on the joint actions that are taken to create favorable conditions to realize this potential and to broaden and intensify economic cooperation, the ambassador said.

The first positive signal in this regard was received on Nov. 5. The Spanish government approved the text of a coordinated agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and declared its readiness to sign the document.

"I think the list will be expanded soon," the ambassador said.

However, he added that assistance must be rendered to this process in the initial stage to give an additional impulse to developing cooperation, as Spanish companies are preparing to enter the Azerbaijani market with a great delay, and the country is highly competitive, he said.

"So, the embassy is preparing proposals for the government's consideration," he added.

It is necessary to study opportunities for investment in Spain parallel to the entry of Spanish companies into the Azerbaijani market, the ambassador noted.

"There is a great interest in attracting new investments," he said.

Additionally, it is necessary to expand Azerbaijan's participation in specialized forums and conferences in Spain to help the government and companies examine investment opportunities, the ambassador said.

"It is necessary to establish a mutual exchange of information about ongoing tenders, future projects and development plans," he told Trend.

"We are on the threshold of a qualitatively new stage of developing our relations," he said. "I am optimistic about their future."

Oil climbs to four-week high on strong China data, demand revival
Oil climbs to four-week high on strong China data, demand revival
Putin reaffirms Russia’s support for Lebanon’s sovereignty
Putin reaffirms Russia’s support for Lebanon’s sovereignty
Iran's trade turnover with Qatar drops
Iran's trade turnover with Qatar drops
Loading Bars
UK records another 2,596 coronavirus cases, 34 deaths
UN Security Council approves ceasefire monitors for Libya
North Macedonia vaccinates some 35,000 citizens
Raul Castro resigning from Cuba’s Communist Party
Azerbaijani IT company working on creating new network, server infrastructures
Georgian Economy Ministry to form expert council on Namakhvani HPP
Relations between Russia, Azerbaijan attain degree of strategic alliance - Federation Council Chair of Russian Federal Assembly
Turkish engineers develop fiber that kills coronavirus in minutes
Uzbekistan’s gold and foreign exchange reserves drop to $32.6 billion
Iran’s petrochemical output to reach $40b: Oil Minister
Relations within CIS IA to make comprehensive partnership ties more profound among member states - Chair of Azerbaijani Parliament (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts win set of awards at Trampoline Hopes Cup tournament
Russia to permanently ban entry for eight US officials
Liabilities of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increase in 1Q2021
Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank completes 1Q2021 with profit
Azerbaijan’s production of oil and gas condensate down
Big share of Azerbaijan's GDP in Q1 2021 accounts for industrial sector
Azerbaijan announces date of next coupon payments on SOCAR bonds
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan increase trade turnover
Azerbaijani insurance company to increase volume of payouts
Georgia, Turkey have significant prospects for co-op in agriculture, forestry
Georgian 'Mambo Frost' company exports its products to Azerbaijan
Fighter aircraft crashes in Kazakhstan
Russia adds 8,995 COVID-19 cases
Head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan summoned to Azerbaijani MFA
Georgian budget to save funds thanks to low-interest rate on new Eurobonds
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,163 more COVID-19 cases, 2,251 recoveries
Frequency of regular flights between Georgia and Israel increases
Azerbaijani president, first lady sign obituary on famous film director’s death
Georgia not to revise 2021 budget
Volume of cargo exported by Azerbaijan via sea in 2021 disclosed
Raisina dialogue: Indo-Pacific epicentre of strategic competition, says Australia PM
Azerbaijan records sharp increase in cargo movement by air
Remittance inflows from Azerbaijan to Georgia show growth
Decrease in apartment prices in Georgia not expected - analyst
US investors aim to finance Georgian startups
Azerbaijan expanding network of seismic stations (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan prioritizes promotion of domestic goods to world markets
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Tajikistan despite COVID-19
Azerbaijan shows footage from Memer village of Gubadli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Nominal income of Azerbaijani population drops for Q12021
Foreigners show interest in making investments in Georgia
Azerbaijan's Azertutun company to be privatized - decree
Kazakhstan to amend rules for use of unmanned aircraft systems
Dozens of vehicles to be put up for state property auction in Azerbaijan
Next volume of ADA University’s Baku Dialogues Journal published
FAO working on approving Country Program Framing with Turkmenistan
U.S. housing starts increase more than expected in March
Photo capturing reaction to relative's death in Armenian attack on Azerbaijani Ganja named ‘Media Photo of Year’ in Turkey
Nokia expanding its activities in Georgia
SIEMENS AG modernizing thermal power plants in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
Georgia shares data on dried fruit exports
Uzbekneftegaz JSC implementing modernization of unit at Uzbekistan's Shurtan Headings
Azerbaijan sees increase in inflation rate for Q12021
Turkmenistan leads in aviation oil exports to Georgia
Volume of Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 railway cargo traffic revealed
Russia's Yandex to launch e-grocery delivery in Paris then London
Kansas City revenue falls 3.5% as COVID-19 hits volumes
India To Spend $200 Million In Next 5-7 Years To Promote Hydrogen Use
Georgian Railway plans to issue Eurobonds in June 2021
Turkmenistan sees increase in number of registered business entities
Russian Hevel Energy Group commissions solar plant in Kazakhstan
UK PM Boris Johnson To Finalise "Roadmap 2030" With India: High Commission
India, France sign agreement for cooperation on Gaganyaan mission
Amazon announces $250 million fund for small, medium businesses in India
Sputnik V covid vaccine deliveries to India to begin this month
Anglo Asian Mining lowers gold output in Azerbaijan
International airport being built in Uzbekistan's Samarkand
Iran top OPEC oil producer for March 2021
Total assets of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increase
Japan provides loan to Uzbekistan within socio-economic dev't
Iran expects increase in production
Azerbaijan restoring roads in Tartar damaged during Second Karabakh War (PHOTO)
Memorandum of Understanding on co-op between Azerbaijan and OIC in field of statistics approved
COVID-19 affects trade turnover between Switzerland, Azerbaijan - ambassador
President of Afghanistan holds meeting with Nizami Ganjavi International Center (PHOTO)
Volume of natural gas industrial treatment at Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field revealed
Iran has to take advantage of regional markets - Chamber of Commerce
Russia discloses volume of Sputnik V vaccine to be supplied to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shares data on cancelled tender, quotation poll results
Iran, Qatar may connect their power networks
Azerbaijan reveals 2M2021 data on cargo movement via TRACECA
Georgia sees increase in production of nuts and grapes
Meetings held in Azerbaijan with representatives of state bodies to switch to G-Cloud
Azerbaijan Airlines’ Supervisory Board holds first meeting (PHOTO)
China to invest in development of Iranian ports
Production of wheat and potato in Georgia increases
Switzerland sees potential in strengthening co-op with Azerbaijan in energy field
Uzbekistan interested in import of livestock from Kyrgyz Republic
Turkmenistan receives new industrial oil inflow
Uzbekistan discloses processing capacity of sunflower seeds by 2022
Azerbaijan talks reconstruction of several fish farms
VTB Group concludes deal for acquisition of Kazakhstan's KAZ Minerals
SOCAR boosts exports of oil, petrochemical and gas-chemical products
State Tax Service of Azerbaijan talks tax fees for online services
Passenger transportation indicators plummet in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 GDP slightly decreases
Azerbaijani president, first lady view renovation, restoration work in Baku's Pirshaghi settlement (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan’s gas exports see 45% growth
All news