Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.11
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
A protocol was signed in Baku on Dec.11 based on the results of the third meeting of the intergovernmental commission on cooperation in the spheres of economy, trade, investments, technology, culture, sports and youth between Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia.
The protocol was signed by the Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev and the head of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Abdullatif Al Othman.
Trade and economic relations between the two countries actively develop, Mustafayev said at the commission's meeting. Currently, six companies with Saudi capital operate in Azerbaijan and invest around $368 million in the country's economy.
"Work in the sphere of attracting investment also continues. The signing of an approximate $35 million loan agreement between the two countries for the improvement of the water supply system in Khirdalan is expected," the minister said.
To expand trade relations between the countries, it was deemed advisable to sign a memorandum of understanding between the Azerbaijan's Entrepreneurs Confederation and Saudi Arabia's Chamber of Commerce based on the results of yesterday's business forum.
Currently, Azerbaijan implements a number of global and regional energy projects, including Trans-Adriatic and Trans-Anatolian pipeline projects that will ensure the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the country has turned into a large transport hub, thanks to participation in the development of TRACECA and the North-South corridors, as well as implementation of projects for construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, a new shipbuilding plant and Baku's international trade port.
Mustafayev expressed his gratitude to the Saudi's for supporting Azerbaijan's position in the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stressed that Armenia remains outside the major projects implemented in the region due to its aggressive policy.
"Armenia's participation in these projects will be possible only after Armenia abandons its occupation policy and returns Azerbaijani territories," the minister said.
Al Othman in turn stressed that Saudi Arabia pays significant attention to the development of relations with Azerbaijan.
During the meeting the fruitful work of the business forum was highlighted and discussions were held on the opportunities for the export of agricultural products to Saudi Arabia and import of agricultural machinery to Azerbaijan.
They also discussed the Saudi company Sumgait's participation in the Chemical Industrial Park, as well as creation of a similar brick and ceramic coating production facility in Azerbaijan.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.