Cooperation agreements signed at Azerbaijani-Lithuanian business forum

Cooperation agreements signed at Azerbaijani-Lithuanian business forum

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 9 / Trend U. Ismayilova /

The relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania indicate the close cooperation between the two countries, Azerbaijani Parliamentary Speaker Ogtay Asadov said at an Azerbaijani-Lithuanian business forum on Wednesday.

"The presidents of both countries attach great importance to developing economic and trade relations," Asadov said. "The trade turnover between the countries developed in an incremental line, but we must not be satisfied by these indicators, as there is potential for further development."

Despite the global financial crisis, Azerbaijan was able to maintain economic growth and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pursues a policy that led to the preservation of economic development. "The economy has grown in recent years by 15 times, and strategic currency reserves reached $30 billion. Azerbaijan ranks first among the CIS countries in terms of growth of economy," he added.

He said the development of the Azerbaijani economy's non-oil sector is ahead of the development of the oil sector.

"I think the business forum could create good relations between countries, as there is an opportunity to establish close contacts. In particular, it is planned to create joint ventures in the financial and banking sectors," Asadov said.

Lithuanian Parliamentary Speaker Irena Degutiene expressed the hope that this business forum will promote the expansion of Lithuanian business in Azerbaijan.

"Azerbaijan and Lithuania have become serious partners in the South Caucasus in 2008," Degutiene said. "The result of this is opening of the Trade House of Lithuania in Azerbaijan in September 2009."

She said the Lithuanian government rejoices over cooperation with Azerbaijan as a country with a rapidly growing economy. Trade turnover between the two countries in recent years has grown more than a third, Degutiene said.

"That is fine, but not the limit. Parties have not yet used all the available opportunities and potential," Degutiene added.

Regarding the possible cooperation between the countries, Degutiene said that Lithuania has set itself as an ambitious target for the development of ICT to develop the Innovation Service Center of the North Sea and Baltic regions. Also, the country has serious development in the field of real estate cadastre.

"We offer Azerbaijan our experience in the field of alternative energy sources and environmental protection," she said.

In the food industry, Lithuania is known for the production and sale of dairy products, ketchup and other products.

"This area comprises a significant part in Lithuania. It is encouraging that Azerbaijan's trading facilities offer Lithuanian dairy production," Degutiene added.

She said Lithuanian businessmen are interested in further development of partnerships in this area for business development.

The Azerbaijani-Lithuanian business forum is attended by representatives of spheres of telecommunications, construction, manufacturing of ceramics, and for the organization to provide medical services to those who wish to expand partnerships in Azerbaijan.

"We intend to develop serious academic projects with Azerbaijan," Degutiene said. "In autumn 2010, Azerbaijani students entered the various universities of Lithuania and they were exempted from tuition fees," she said.

Three agreements on cooperation were signed at the business forum: (1) General Director of Lithuanian Business and Employers Confederation Algimantas Akstinas and Azerbaijani National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Mammad Musayev, (2) Vilnius University Deputy Director Juras Banys and Director of the ANAS Institute of Cybernetics Telman Aliyev between the Lithuanian, as well as (3) INTA company and Azerbaijan's Cyber LTD have undersigned the documents.

The event was attended by over 20 companies in the areas of agriculture, food processing, energy, telecommunications, construction, education and other fields from the Lithuanian side and the Azerbaijani - 60 companies from similar areas.

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