France plans to bring its companies operating in Turkey to Azerbaijan

Business Materials 9 February 2015 19:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

By Anakhanim Hidayatova - Trend:

France plans to bring its companies operating in Turkey to Azerbaijan's market, the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier told Trend Feb. 9.

The diplomat believes that if those companies can successfully develop business in Turkey, they will be able to do the same thing in Azerbaijan.

"Turkey and Russia are the first economic partners of Azerbaijan. We have noticed that more than 700 French companies work in Turkey. It means they should be able to work efficiently in Azerbaijan with Turkish partners. Turkey and France often talk about cooperation on third markets, and we decided it can be Azerbaijan certainly," Monnier said.

A seminar will be organized in Azerbaijan in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Economy of Azerbaijan, the Chamber of Commerce in Turkey and the French-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, he added.

"The seminar will take place at the end of May," the ambassador said. "Parties will discuss opportunities of cooperation on the Azerbaijani market."

"Beyond the large contracts we signed (buses, metro, locomotives, satellites), we want to develop B to B and B to C segments," he said. "We have to have more medium sized companies in Azerbaijan. Mostly, I believe construction companies can procure a lot of things from French suppliers. We are good in architecture, design, energy efficiency (Schneider Electric is already very active here), interior decoration etc."

The ambassador said France is present in the field of oil and gas in Azerbaijan both as an investor (Total; GDF-Suez; Air Liquide), as equipment supplier (Schlumberger, Nexans) and as a purchaser (GDF-Suez, which will be the single biggest purchaser of Shah Deniz gas).

"They [GDF-Suez] have signed a long term agreement, according to which they will take almost 25 percent of all production of Shah Deniz gas," Monnier said.

The diplomat added that the French companies also take part in a project for the modernization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

He said Azerbaijan is buying locomotives and chose the French company, Alstom.

"Azerbaijan also has project of construction of new lines in metro and they have chosen French firms in the field of civil works (Bouygues), rolling stock (Alstom) and telecommunications (Thales)," Monnier added.

In 2014, according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and France stood at $1.681 billion, of which $157.4 million accounted for imports to Azerbaijan, while $1.52 billion accounted for exports to France.

Edited by CN