Aliyev says Azerbaijan-Czech business forum will reveal new areas of cooperation (UPDATE)

details added (first version posted at 13:19)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 16

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The Azerbaijan-Czech business forum was held in Baku Sept. 16.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Czech President Milos Zeman attended the forum.

While addressing the Azerbaijan-Czech business forum, President Aliyev greeted the participants. The president stressed that the meetings held so far between the businessmen of the two countries strengthen the ties. President Aliyev said that the bilateral relations are of strategic nature. The president stressed the importance of the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership, signed between the two countries during President Zeman's visit.

Stressing the importance of the further development of the Azerbaijan-Czech economic cooperation, President Aliyev emphasized the importance of good coordination of relations between the business circles.

The president said that the Czech banks' participation in the Azerbaijani projects, Azerbaijan's successful fulfillment of its obligations as a financial partner, and the need of determining the new areas of cooperation for the upcoming years were discussed as part of the visit.

President Aliyev told about the transport possibilities in terms of cooperation. The president stressed in this regard the significance of the projects of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the Baku International Sea Trade Port.

Stressing that Azerbaijan is a reliable supplier of oil to the Czech Republic, President Aliyev underlined Azerbaijan's role in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project and noted that the country has become a major player on the European gas market.

The president said that this project will create opportunities for Azerbaijan to diversify its supply routes.

President Aliyev noted that $27 billion were invested in Azerbaijan in 2014, adding that foreign investments are significant here.

"This shows that despite the continued economic crisis in the world, favorable investment environment is observed in Azerbaijan," the president said. "One of the main factors confirming this is the 4-plus percent growth of Azerbaijani economy during 8 months of 2015, the development of the non-oil sector and less than 10 percent-external debt."

Stressing that Azerbaijan's economy is one of 40 most advanced economies in the world, President Aliyev emphasized good conditions for cooperation in the field of agriculture.

He also spoke about possibilities for considering terms for establishing joint ventures. In the conclusion he expressed confidence that the current forum will create good conditions for revealing new areas of cooperation.

President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman stressed certain similarities between the two countries, which is evident in the field of economy.

"For example, the Czech Republic, like Azerbaijan, differs for the low level of unemployment and an external debt in the European area," President Zeman said. He also added that more than 30 percent of oil imported into the Czech Republic, comes from Azerbaijan.

President Zeman further said more than 200 Azerbaijani students study in the Czech Republic, and highlighted the opportunities for expanding the ties in this area.

Stressing the establishment of close cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic, he stressed the importance of creating close cooperation between the business circles.

President Zeman expressed confidence that the two sides will take advantage of the created opportunities.

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