details added (first version posted at 18:12)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Azerbaijan has urged the European Reconstruction and Development Bank (EBRD) to render technical support for establishing a free trade zone in the Alat settlement at the initial stage, said Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani economy minister.
Mustafayev made the statement at a meeting with Suma Chakrabarti, the EBRD head, in Baku May 24.
The minister stressed the possibilities of cooperation in the field of transit, as well as within the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), which is an important part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Mustafayev informed the guest about the reforms underway in Azerbaijan in various spheres, including the entrepreneurship.
"Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the relations with the EBRD," Mustafayev said, adding that Chakrabarti's visits to the country testify to the expansion of successful cooperation.
"Azerbaijan appreciates the EBRD's financial support rendered for the development of public and private sectors," the minister said. "Using of the best practice, modern technologies and know-how in the projects, being implemented together with international financial institutions, including the EBRD, is important for us."
"The EBRD's purpose is to support the developing countries and the bank will intensify its efforts in this direction," Chakrabarti said. "The EBRD rendered financial support for nine projects in Azerbaijan in 2015."
Chakrabarti added that EBRD and Azerbaijan can cooperate in the fields of tourism, infrastructure and establishment of special economic zones.
The EBRD has so far allocated the loans totaling $2.9 billion to Azerbaijan for implementation of 164 projects, including 154 private sector projects.