Azerbaijan, China consider establishment of FEZ

Business Materials 11 July 2011 12:55 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 11 / Trend A.Akhundov /

Azerbaijan and China are considering the possibility of creating joint free economic zones (FEZs).

Such a proposal was announced at the first meeting of the working group on trade and economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) of China on Monday in Baku.

"This is a very interesting proposal," Azerbaijani Deputy Economic Development Minister Niyazi Safarov said at the meeting. "Azerbaijan for its part will familiarize China with the rules regarding the FEZ existing in Azerbaijan."

He said Azerbaijan and China cooperate on a high-level in economic, political, and social spheres.

The main purpose of the meeting is to deepen these relations not only with China but the entire region as a whole.

"Companies with Chinese capital were established in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani businessmen are also working successfully in China and have representations of their companies in China," Safarov said.

Azerbaijan and China have established a fairly good legal framework for trade and economic cooperation. However, one of the objectives of this meeting is to improve this base.
"Today, the trade turnover between China and Azerbaijan hits about $1 billion. It covers the energy and non-oil sector sectors," Safarov said.

Vice-Chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Hu Wei said that trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Xinjiang totaled $350 million in 2010 and $100 million in January-May 2011.

"The trade with Xinjiang accounts for one third of total turnover between Azerbaijan and China. In 2011, trade with Xinjiang will grow at an even faster pace," he added.

A protocol was signed following the meeting.