Azerbaijan invites Chinese companies to intensify co-op
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 20
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Azerbaijan invites Chinese companies to intensify cooperation with local businesses, in particular, in industrial sphere, Chinese media reported citing Azerbaijan’s Deputy Economy Minister Niyazi Safarov.
Safarov made the remarks at a session of the Azerbaijan-China Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.
Safarov said that currently, Chinese companies participate in Azerbaijan’s 12 projects worth over $640 million. In total, 77 companies with Chinese capital operate in Azerbaijan, he added.
Speaking about the prospects of bilateral cooperation, the deputy minister noted that its sustainability is based on an extensive legal framework: more than 66 documents, including 22 in the field of trade and economic relations, were signed between Azerbaijan and China.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported that during the meeting, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Co-chair of the intergovernmental commission Abid Sharifov emphasized that Azerbaijan and China have longstanding ties based on mutual respect and benefit.
Sharifov highlighted the activities of the Chinese company Huawei, adding that it works efficiently with Azerbaijani companies. The deputy prime minister drew special attention to the cooperation in the sphere of transportation and logistics. He recalled that the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which will link Asia with Europe, will be completed soon.
“A new transportation route, connecting China’s railways with Europe in the shortest way, will start work with the BTK’s commissioning,” noted Sharifov. “The BTK corridor will considerably increase the efficiency of transportation logistics and will contribute to a considerable increase in the volume of cargo transportation.”
Addressing the meeting, President of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev said that for 15 years SOCAR has been cooperating with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), from which it bought equipment used in the petrochemical sphere that worth more than $500 million. He noted the mutual intention to expand business contacts, recalled the signing of a memorandum of understanding in June 2016 that aimed at cooperation in the oil and gas, petrochemical sectors.
China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, in turn, said that China and Azerbaijan are good friends and partners and it contributes to the dynamic growth of bilateral trade and economic ties. Speaking about the huge development potential of economic cooperation, the vice minister noted that China sees Azerbaijan as an important partner in the Silk Road Economic Belt project’s implementation.
During the commission’s meeting, the issues of cooperation in the field of high technologies, agriculture, air traffic, alternative energy, education, and the prospects of expanding relations were discussed, and specific proposals on boosting economic cooperation were put forward. As a result, a protocol of the commission’s 6th session was signed.
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China amounted to $390.6 million in January-July 2016, $325.2 million of which accounted for the Chinese products’ export, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.