Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 May / Trend, E. Aliyev /
Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Azerbaijan has increased significantly over the past few years, and the EU is Azerbaijan's number one trading partner, the head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia said, speaking at the conference "International Trade Law in the Caucasus and Central Asia: between regional integration and globalization" held in Baku.
"Azerbaijan sees the future in the diversification of the economy as this will eliminate its dependence on the oil and gas sector. This vision is supported by the President of Azerbaijan who adopted the Concept "Azerbaijan 2020: Vision of the Future" with a very ambitious agenda. The program will create more favorable conditions for access to Azerbaijan's non-oil products to European markets," Kobia said.
According to him, the EU sees great potential for expanding cooperation with Azerbaijan.
"The negotiations on visa facilitation between Europe and Azerbaijan are at the final stage. Elimination of administrative barriers in obtaining visas has a positive impact on trade. Trade relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are developing and deepening. We are also improving the legal framework governing these relations," the diplomat added.
Kobia said Azerbaijan has joined the GSP + generalized program of preferences.
"I think the country successfully seizes its opportunities. You can see it on the example of the changes taken place in Azerbaijan in such a short period of time. This important economic tool gave Azerbaijan a further opportunity to enter the European market. The GSP + program completed in the country in 2012, but we have decided to extend it for another two years," he said.
Azerbaijan joined the EU program "GSP +" in January 2009. under the program, Azerbaijani entrepreneurs currently have the ability to export up to 7200 items of goods to the European market on favorable terms.
According to the head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, trade is an important element of regional stability and security.
"We must not forget that Azerbaijan is in state of war and the part of the country is under occupation. This is not good neither for trade, nor for the country and the entire regional integration. EU supports the efforts to establish peace and stability in Azerbaijan and the region" Kobia said.
An International conference entitled "International Trade Law in the Caucasus and Central Asia: Between Regional Integration and Globalization" began in Baku on Thursday. During the two-day event, experts from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Germany, Russia and Kazakhstan will discuss various aspects of international economic law.