Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend: Azerbaijan is interested in expanding cooperation with Italy in the economy's non-oil sector, which grew by 2.7 times over the last 10 years, Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry, Niyazi Safarov said on Nov. 13.
He made the remarks at the Azerbaijan-Italian Business Forum held in Baku.
"At present, there are wide opportunities between the countries for expansion of cooperation and in this regard it is necessary to strengthen joint efforts in this direction," the deputy minister said.
According to him, Italy is a major trading partner of Azerbaijan. In late 2012 the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Italy amounted to $5.8 billion, and during the first nine months of 2013, foreign trade between the two countries amounted at $4.6 billion.
Safarov said that today the total investments of Italian companies in Azerbaijan's main capital stands at $47.9 million, while $65.6 million were invested in the non-oil sector of the republic. Today there are some 45 Italian companies in Azerbaijan. They are engaged in the insurance, banking, trade and other spheres.
"In addition, they are also involved as contractors in projects in the state sector," the deputy minister said. "The choice of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, by means of which Azerbaijani gas will be transported from Turkey to southern Europe via Greece and Albania, is one of the important steps taken by Azerbaijan for diversification of energy resources' export routes. This project is of particular importance for the expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy, including for provision of the energy security of Europe".
During the forum Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Fund (AZPROMO) and ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation.