Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 6
ICT, construction, tourism, healthcare sectors will be the most interesting and promising areas for expansion of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Portugal, said Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Portugal to Azerbaijan Maria Joao Lopes Cardoso.
She made the remarks during her meeting with a delegation led by President of Caspian Energy International Media Group Natalya Aliyeva.
Speaking about bilateral trade between Portugal and Azerbaijan, Maria Joao Lopes Cardoso mentioned that bilateral trade flows amounted to roughly 457 million euros (Portugal’s export totaled 1.8 million euros and import from Azerbaijan amounted to 455 million euros) in 2016. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan ranked the 20th among Portugal’s suppliers.
“It is worth noting the growing interest of Portuguese companies in exporting to Azerbaijan,” she noted adding that the number of Portuguese companies carrying out exports to Azerbaijan increased from 39 in 2011 to 83 in 2015.
Touching upon the issue of energy cooperation, Cardoso noted that Europe, including Portugal, is interested in the diversification of energy suppliers.
“In that respect, the Southern Gas Corridor [SGC] is a strategic project for energy security that brings diversification of natural gas sources to Europe”, she said.
The chargé d’affaires went on to say that Portugal is aspiring to develop its gas and energy transit system.
“North South interconnector in Western Europe (“NSI West Gas”) is one of the projects which we are implementing”, she noted.
Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula have all the conditions to become a major entry point for natural gas and LNG in Europe, thus increasing both import capacity and supplier diversification, added Cordoso.
“In this regard, the Southern Gas Corridor and our initiatives are complementary because what we all want is the energy security for Europe and for the region,” she said.
It is exactly what these projects aim at - one from the West and the other one from the East – contributing to diversify sources and improve stability against any kind of energy crisis, added the chargé d’affaires.