Details added (first version posted on 12:32)
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 8
By Anvar Mammadov – Trend:
The volume of direct investments from the European Union (EU) to Azerbaijan amounted to seven billion euros, said Director “Neighbourhood East” in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) Lawrence Meredith.
He made the remarks at the EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum in Baku June 8.
According to Meredith, the EU is the biggest investor in Azerbaijani economy.
More than 2.5 billion euros out of this amount were used for the non-oil sector of the Azerbaijani economy, he said.
“We see that Azerbaijan is aimed at diversifying its economy. Despite the fact that energy is a key sector in our relations, we also welcome new directions of mutual cooperation,” noted the EU official.
Meredith said that currently, the sides are holding negotiations as part of the new strategic partnership agreement.
“We are holding negotiations now on signing a new agreement on cooperation,” he noted adding that this is very important both for Azerbaijan and the EU.
“Currently, we are discussing priorities of our cooperation, one of main directions of which will remain the Southern Gas Corridor project and similar projects,” added the EU official.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to that project at a later stage.