Ambassador: Spain prepares to enter Azerbaijani market

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."

Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Loading Bars
Chinese mainland reports 16 new imported COVID-19 cases
Brazil's COVID-19 cases surpass 5.4 mln
U.S. Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court pick Barrett in nearly party-line vote
5.2-magnitude earthquake hits central Iran, no casualties
Czech Republic to introduce night curfew from Wednesday
61 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
Germany reports 8,685 new COVID-19 cases
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Kazakh PM meets with Turkish Defense Minister
Footage from liberated from occupation Padar village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan neutralizes one of 3 missiles shot by Armenian troops at Azerbaijan's Tartar
Azerbaijan's Bank Association denies lies spread by Armenian side
Effective co-op in field of border security established between Azerbaijan, Iran
Armenian Armed Forces shell Azerbaijan’s Tartar by using 'Smerch' missiles
Armenia indiscriminately targets civilians - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijanis hold rally in California, condemning Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani compatriots living in Minnesota hold protest rally (PHOTO)
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan's Tartar city, villages
Armenian armed forces shelling Tartar city with artillery, missiles in gross breach of humanitarian ceasefire
Iran's powder detergent production grows
Azerbaijanis in Denmark hold protest rally against Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Turkish embassy in Georgia talks joint energy projects of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey
Protest rally against Armenian attack on Ganja held in Bielefeld, Germany (PHOTO)
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 27
Armenian Armed Forces’ quadrocopter destroyed by Azerbaijani troops
Al Jazeera posts article covering aftermath of Armenian missile attack on Ganja
Baku's secondary housing prices show monthly decline
Investments in Iran's capital market increase
Uzbek Reconstruction and Development Fund to support creation of Export Support Fund
Turkey's export of defense products to Morocco plunges
Nagorno-Karabakh region to be liberated sooner or later: press secretary of Turkish president
USD falls against Uzbek soum for the first time in three months
Work connected with laying of gas pipelines on freed Azerbaijani territories kicked off (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Volume of maritime cargo shipment via Turkey from Spain disclosed
Turkmenistan significantly increases import of wheat flour from EAEU countries
Azerbaijani railway operator admitted to consortium of Trans-Caspian Transport Route
Georgia reveals results of 18 foreign exchange auctions conducted by National Bank
Iran Khodro reveals amount of funds saved thanks to domestic manufacturing
Export of Turkish-made defense products to China slumps
Armenian Armed Forces fire at school in Aghdam (PHOTO)
Assistant to Azerbaijani president comments on photo of Armenia's defense minister together with Armenian soldiers
Macron's anti-Islamic statements point to extreme misunderstanding of religion - Arab analyst
Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya tops list of regions implementing foreign investments
Heritage Foundation's Foreign Policy Studies Center Director comments on photo showing Russian field camp set up near Armenian Tegh
Georgia sees increase in hazelnuts export
Georgia reveals volume of exported apples
U.S. regrets EU move on tariffs, seeks deal on Boeing-Airbus row
Russia seeking to be stabilizer in South Caucasus, says Russian expert
Uzbekistan discusses strengthening multilateral co-op with China and S. Korea
President Aliyev congratulates commanders of joint military corps who distinguished themselves in liberation of Gubadli city, villages of Gubadli district from occupiers
Review of statistics of people registered within state program 'Remotely from Georgia'
Volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia’s Perm Krai revealed
Azerbaijani army does not fire at civilians - Defense Ministry
President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Italian Rai 1 TV channel (PHOTO)
Iran launches new water treatment facility in Tehran
Iran studies Famotidine as Coronavirus treatment
Industrial production in Karabakh to increase in post-conflict period - CAERC head
Turkish president urges to boycott French goods
Work on power supply to strategic facilities in freed Azerbaijani territories underway (PHOTO)
Bank of Georgia suffers loss
S&P Global Ratings expects Azerbaijan's export to grow in next years
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling
Wildfire breaks out in Azerbaijan's Dashkasan district from Armenian attacks (VIDEO)
SOCAR considering new investments in Turkey
Romania's import of Azerbaijani products for 9M2020 revealed
Armenian Armed Forces fire at Azerbaijan’s Tartar district
Price of most Georgian companies’ shares up on London Stock Exchange
UK armed forces take control of ship in English Channel, seven people detained
Mobile phones and smartphones import down in Georgia
Azerbaijan confirms 131 more COVID-19 recoveries
Iran enlarges petrochemicals production
Azerbaijan hikes export to Belarus in 9M2020
S&P says Azerbaijani manat to maintain position against USD
German government raises 2020 GDP forecast to -5.5%
Turkmenistan ready to support contracts with companies of Russia’s Perm Krai
Recruiting children by Armenia against Azerbaijan is war crime, says Lebanese lawyer
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan restoring historical justice on battlefield
Azerbaijan's Aghjabadi district again under fire of Armenian Armed Forces
It is not worth using peacekeeping efforts of third states in settlement of Karabakh conflict - Georgian expert
Weekly digest of Azerbaijan’s energy sector
Uzbekneftegaz accelerates commissioning of technological devices due to autumn-winter period
EU's Barnier heads for London for Brexit deal talks
Corn oil produced by Georgian Plant Oil Company Qarva to enter supermarkets
President Ilham Aliyev talks proving to world that Karabakh is Azerbaijan's historical land
Turkey discloses 9M2020 data on cargo movement via its ports from UK
Armenia's leadership, criminal junta regime have no moral, ethical framework - Azerbaijani top official
Iran ready to fire at Armenian Armed Forces if they approach its border with Azerbaijan
Iran`s Quchan grapes exports revealed
Turkmen private sector provides half of industrial production in Balkan region
Amount of industrial enterprises launched in Iran's Hamadan soars
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 26
Uzbekneftegaz eyes to increase natural gas production
Armenia never supports peace – Azerbaijani MP in interview to TRT World TV channel (VIDEO)
Karabakh conflict's settlement process is at hot point - Kremlin spokesman
Over 230 tankers with ACG oil shipped from Ceyhan terminal
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on civil casualties, damages
Iran's Shazand Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy equipment
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council slams French president
All news