Azerbaijan keen to enter Bulgarian agricultural market
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 24
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Azerbaijan intends to enter the Bulgarian market of agricultural products with a wide range of goods, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria Nargiz Gurbanova said in an interview with Trend.
The government of Azerbaijan plans to significantly expand the cooperation with Bulgaria in such areas as trade, agriculture, tourism, ICT, transport and others, noted the ambassador.
Recently, there has been a noticeable interest of the Bulgarian business community towards Azerbaijan, and the good political relations between the two countries and, of course, the favorable business environment created in Azerbaijan contribute to this, added Gurbanova.
“Of course, it is traditionally considered that energy is the cornerstone of our partnership and partly, this is true. Starting from 2020, the Azerbaijani gas will be supplied to Bulgaria and this is a very big figure – one billion cubic meters per year, which accounts for one third of the total gas consumption in Bulgaria,” said the diplomat.
According to her, along with energy, the cooperation within transport projects is gaining importance as well.
The geographic location of both states and the infrastructure created in Azerbaijan create favorable conditions for this, so that the European partners will be able to use it for freight traffic to China and back, said the ambassador.
“There are specific routes in the directions of the Black Sea-Caspian Sea-Persian Gulf; The Black Sea-Caspian Sea-countries of Central Asia and China. It is also known that Bulgaria is interested in the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route,” noted Gurbanova. “Thus, currently, the cooperation in transport sphere is the second important area of cooperation with Bulgaria, after the energy sector.”
Along with energy and transport spheres, cooperation in the field of agriculture has certainly never lost its relevance, she said adding that currently, it is very important in terms of two aspects: regarding development of new sustainable kinds of products, as well as processing of agricultural products.
Bulgaria has a fairly rich experience in both areas, added the ambassador.
Gurbanova named winemaking, the use of mechanisms for controlling the quality of agricultural products, participation in agricultural exhibitions, creating opportunities for companies to participate in such forums, providing support to investors and others among priorities.
According to her, it is planned to hold a business forum in October-November 2017 with participation of the two countries’ businessmen specialized in agricultural sphere.
“We are also interested in promoting the "Made in Azerbaijan" brand products in Bulgaria, and representatives of the Azerbaijani business community, which are interested in promoting their products in Bulgarian markets, will be able to talk it over with Bulgarian entrepreneurs during the business forum and find out what is interesting for Bulgarian consumers,” added the diplomat.
Bulgaria also has great interest in using the opportunities provided by the Azerbaijani satellite – Azerspace-1, said Gurbanova.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s first telecommunications satellite, Azerspace-1, was launched on February 8, 2013. The satellite is designed to provide digital television services, create multi-service VSAT networks and others. The satellite’s service area covers the countries of Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa.
According to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee, the trade turnover with Bulgaria amounted to $6.39 million in January-June 2017, some $6.3 million of which accounted for the import from Bulgaria. Trade turnover between the two countries decreased by 2.45 times during the year.