Azerbaijan calls Swiss companies for privatization of state-owned enterprises (UPDATE 2)
details added (first version posted at 12:56)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 10
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Swiss companies can take an active part in the privatization of state enterprises in Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani economy minister, said March 10.
Mustafayev made this statement at a joint meeting of the Azerbaijani-Swiss intergovernmental commission being held in Baku.
The minister stressed the successful trade cooperation between the two countries, adding that there is a potential to increase investments in Azerbaijan.
"At present, some 65 companies with Swiss capital are operating in Azerbaijan," he said. "They invested $220 million in the country's economy. One of them is Holcim Azerbaijan, one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan."
Mustafayev also stressed the activity of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
"SECO has successfully implemented 30 projects worth $90 million in Azerbaijan," he said. "The secretariat itself has allocated $25 million of this amount."
"Currently, SECO is implementing eight projects worth $15.7 million in the country, including the infrastructure projects and the projects on improving the business sphere," the minister said.
Mustafayev also stressed the successful cooperation of Azerbaijani and Swiss companies.
He said that SOCAR (the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan) has invested 400 million Swiss francs in Switzerland's energy sector.
"SOCAR bought 148 filling stations in the country," he said. "Seven percent of the retail market and eight percent of the wholesale market of oil products, as well as 25 percent of the LPG market of Switzerland account for SOCAR."
Mustafayev said that the two countries are successfully cooperating in the fields of transport and tourism.
The minister stressed the need to increase the tourist flow between Azerbaijan and Switzerland.