Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 18 / Trend/
Azerbaijan- Latvia relations in economic sector are still not at the level of the political relations, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at a joint press conference with Latvian President Valdis Zatlers in Riga on Monday, the official website of the Latvian leader reported. "But, I am confident that thanks to the events, taken by us, will also have brilliant results in this sphere, too," Aliyev added.
"Among the areas of cooperation I would like to note the information and communication technologies issue. Azerbaijan gives an importance to this area and the country is confident that Latvia has done a lot in this sphere," President Aliyev added.
"In the field of agriculture we have also broad prospective for interaction, in the field of energy, in the field of the mutual investments - I think that we have to be more attentive to this. Today Azerbaijani companies bring already their capital to the foreign markets, and we are making large investments in foreign markets," Aliyev said.
President Zatlers said Latvia exports food products which are popular in a great many countries, including Azerbaijan.
"We also have a great deal of interest and many opportunities to export Latvian IT solutions to private companies and government institutions in Azerbaijan. We also talked about ways in which we can work together in the field of education, because education, too, is an export product to a certain degree. We talked about the mutual interests of Azerbaijan and Latvia. We also talked about transport and the energy sector," President Zatlers said.
President Aliyev praised the mutual investment prospects of both countries as a very promising sector.
"We welcome Latvian investments in the economy. I am confident that these investments will help to diversify Azerbaijani economy. Today in Azerbaijan we pay big attention to all sectors of Azerbaijani economy. We have to strive to reduce to the minimum level our dependence on oil and gas sector, and we are already successful in that. In order to diversify the economy, the attraction of investments is very important for us," President Aliyev said.
In 2010, $15.5 billion have been invested in Azerbaijan, among these figures 9.3 billion are national investments, the rest is the foreign investments, Aliyev added.
"We have very favourable investment climate. Investments of foreign companies are protected. Azerbaijani companies in their turn have started already to make their investments in foreign markets. These investments have passed already several billions of dollars," Aliyev said. "Of course, to make an investment in a friendly country like Latvia can be very interesting for us."
The Latvian President also believes the foundation for economic co-operation in the future will unquestionably be mutual investments
"We will be able to meet decades from now and see the positive result. Our trade volumes will be much, much broader, and our national economies will be much more closely linked while supplementing one another at the same time," Zatlers added.
There must be an unambiguous appreciation of the fact that Latvia is a member state in the European Union, he said. Because of this, 70% of "our trade volume relates to the
"By promoting bilateral economic relations with Azerbaijan, we are also promoting Azerbaijan's economic relations with the European Union and vice-versa. We would like to see greater economic integration in specific in the Caucasus region. By shaping bilateral relations with each of those countries, we will promote economic development in the whole region," Zatlers said.