Azerbaijani President: Greek companies to have every condition to work in Azerbaijan (UPDATE) (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president's speech was added (the first version was posted at 8:16 p.m.)
Every condition will be created for Greek companies to w ork in Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan i companies will benefit from Greece 's opportunities , Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said during the IV Azerbaijani-Greek business forum with participation of Greek President Karolos Papoulias at the Baku Business Center, the official website of the Azerbaijani President said .
Up to 250 businessmen of two countries , working in agriculture , food industry, health , pharmaceuticals, energy, information and communication technolog ies , finance, logistics, construction and other fields attended the business forum .
President Aliyev said that the official visit of the Greek President to Azerbaijan wa s very successful.
"Our last negotiations and the documents signed will serve the development of the relations between the two countries in the future ," the president said . "The r elations between Greece and Azerbaijan are at a high level. The President's visit and my visit to Greece in 2009 testify for a high level of political ties . There are a lot mutual interests in the economic sphere . Organizing this business forum is a good example. I can say Greek and Azerbaijani businessmen conduct jointly the event s many times . Greece organized a business forum in 2009 . Earlier, the s imilar events have been held . So, it indicates that the re are enough mutual interests. I think the active part of Greek business men in this forum is a great indicator. "
He said that the Joint Intergovernmental Commission operates to intensify the economic cooperation.
"The Commission periodically holds meetings ," the president said. "Determining the cooperation areas in the economic sphere is resolved . We want the economic ties between our countries to be multi-faceted. These issues were discussed during the President 's visit. I am sure that business men will also make their contribution to the development of our economic ties. I would like to mention agriculture a mong the areas of interest. Greece has rich experience in this field. Taking into account t he similarity of natural conditions in our countries and that the climate is also very similar , then we are interested in Greek achievements in the field of agriculture.
Great attention is paid to agriculture . T he country faces the task of ensuring food security of Azerbaijan entirely through internal resources. The appropriate instructions h ave been recently given to commission work in the area of using renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan . T his area has already developed i n Greece . It would be interesting to use its experience. I think there is an opportunity to establish mutually beneficial economic ties in the fields of information and communication technologies, tourism, transport, construction . "
The Azerbaijani p resident stressed the cooperation between the two countries in energy, oil and gas industry.
"Azerbaijan and Greece have been cooperating for several years in this area ," President Aliyev said . T he Azerbaijani gas h as been transported to Greece since i n 2007. According to the memorandum signed yesterday [April 5] , these ties will be more expanded in the future . Increasing the transportation of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Greece must be ensured . Greece , as a transit country, is ready to offer its potential to transport Azerbaijani gas in the future . Azerbaijan transports its fuel resources to Greece. That is, the cooperation in this area has good results.
Both sides are reliable partners . O ur interests coincide. Of course, we should enter new markets and strengthen our position s in traditional markets t o fully realize o ur rich gas potential . I think that the resources of Azerbaijan can play a role in resolving the issues with the energy security of Europe . In this regards, t he EU and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum and a declaration in early 2011 . Azerbaijan has rich gas reserves. The p roven reserves hit about 2.2 trillion cubic meters. This is the minim al figure. We think that the real figure will be higher. I am confident that the exploration work , to be undertaken in the future , will confirm this. At present , gas production in Azerbaijan hits 28 billion cubic meters. This is a big figure . Given that our domestic needs hit 10-11 billion cubic meters, there are enough opportunities for export now . If we take into account that the investments worth tens of billions of dollars are to be made in the coming years , then, of course, the gas production will greatly increase ."
"We invite Greek companies to Azerbaijan ," the president said. " I a m glad they have accepted our invitation . "
He said that Azerbaijan has good working conditions , very favorable investment climate . The foreign investment s are protected by the state properly .
"Azerbaijan, as always, is at the forefront in the post-Soviet area i n terms of foreign direct investment s per capita ," the president said . "F oreign and local businessmen benefit t he conditions created for investors. Roughly $ 15.5 billion were invested in the country's economy last year . Roughly 54 percent of them fall on domestic and 46 percent on foreign investments. It testifies to the fact that foreign investors are interested in investing in Azerbaijan even during the global financial crisis in the world. "
President Aliyev said that Azerbaijan's economy is developing rapidly.
" GDP and industrial production increased almost three times o ver the l ast seven years ," he said . More than 900,000 new jobs were opened in Azerbaijan . The very serious actions have been made to diversify the economy . T hus, the sustainable development of our country has been provided . I want to emphasize the period of 2009-2010 . T hey will remain as a period of financial crisis in the history. Despite this, Azerbaijan's economy increased by 14 percent in 2009-2010 . W e observe the growth in the first quarter of this year. Azerbaijani companies enter the foreign markets. This is our state policy . The state put forward the initiative. I am delighted that our companies have joined this . Our state a nd private companies began investing abroad. O f course , t he main condition for making investment s abroad is the political ties between these countries and Azerbaijan . "
He said that Greece is a friendly country for Azerbaijan.
"Our relations are at a high level ," the president said . "The President's visit much more strengthen s this friendship . T here are very good conditions for making investment s by Azerbaijani companies in Greece. I think all these issues will be discussed within the business forum. I would like to reiterate that we will create all the conditions for the Greek companies to work in Azerbaijan . Azerbaijan i companies will benefit from Greece's opportunities.
Mr. President, I once again welcome you and your delegation in Azerbaijan. Indeed, your visit to our country has become an important stage in developing the relations . It will give a very strong impulse to our ties. W e see only a positive trend in the political, economic, cultural ties and the contacts between people, that is, in all these areas . I am sure that these trends will m ore strengthen after the visit . "
After the business-forum, the Presidents admired the view of the Caspian Sea from the National Seashore Park.
The Greek president was informed in detail s about the improvement and creative work , carried out in the capital of rapidly developing Azerbaijan .