Azerbaijan, Turkey plan to sign agreement on preferential trade

Business Materials 27 June 2012 15:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 27 / Trend A.Taghiyeva /

Azerbaijan and Turkey are planning to sign an agreement on preferential trade as part of developing economic and trade relations between the two countries, Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan told Trend.

"Turkey has repeatedly appealed to the Azerbaijani side in order to conclude an agreement on preferential trade and the Azerbaijani side was positive about our proposal. This question is now being discussed by the parties," Caglayan said.

He said the conclusion of a preferential trade agreement will facilitate the convergence of the business circles of Azerbaijan and Turkey and accelerate trade integration.

In addition according to the minister, Turkey's membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the experience gained in cooperation with the EU, will be an important contribution to the development of trade relations with Azerbaijan.

The minister also noted that Turkey has always supported and will provide necessary assistance to Azerbaijan's accession to the WTO.

"On the other hand, the European Union is discussing the signing of a free trade agreement with Azerbaijan as being the next step after Azerbaijan's accession to the WTO. Turkey will provide the necessary assistance to Azerbaijan in this matter," he said.

The minister said that Turkey was the first country to recognise Azerbaijan's independence and create a legal framework for the development of economic relations with the country. The signed agreements include an agreement on economic and trade cooperation, on reciprocal promotion and protection of investment and an on avoidance of double taxation.

Caglayan added that Turkey's policy towards Azerbaijan is a joint development. To achieve this goal Turkey faces two major challenges. The first is a complete elimination of barriers in economic and trade relations between the two countries. In this regard, both countries are unanimous. At the bilateral meetings to date the parties discussed the issues that hinder the development of economic relations between countries and plans to eliminate those barriers have been prepared, the minister said.

The minister said the second challenge facing the leadership of both countries, is to build new long term bilateral economic relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey on a foundation free from the problems and obstacles.

When laying the foundation of this cooperation, long term projects in all areas will be required.

In preparing the project on a new phase of cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the first place, it is necessary to bring together the legal framework of the countries. The next step should be to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to the greatest possible extent within the international obligations of the countries that will become the impetus for increasing trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

"Turkey seeks to ensure that the level of economic relations with Azerbaijan matches the dynamic development of world trade and economy," the minister said.