Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4
By Jeyhun Alakbarov, Azad Hasanli – Trend:
The economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia has reached such a level when both countries may establish joint ventures in third countries, for example, Iran or Turkey, Elkhan Alasgarov, PhD, head of the Expert Council of the Baku Network, said.
Alasgarov made the remarks in Baku during the Moscow-Baku video conference entitled "Economic and Investment Cooperation of Azerbaijan and Russia: New Points of Growth" at the press-center of Trend news agency on March 4.
In particular, the expert stressed that Azerbaijan’s construction business has been actively developing recently.
“Azerbaijani enterprises are looking for the markets outside the country and are already working in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, implementing road projects in Serbia,” Alasgarov added.
"Of course, joint ventures together with the Russian companies could work in the international arena,” he said. “I think that geography has determined the way through which we must develop our economic relations.”
“Russia is a powerful country, while Azerbaijan has a lot of routes to rich energy, financial and economic sources,” Alasgarov added. “The potential of Azerbaijan and Russia may develop, beginning from cooperation in recovering Syria and ending with Afghanistan, Iran, Arab countries."
He stressed that using of Azerbaijan to reach the southern countries will give Russia a lot of benefits.
"I am sure that today's discussions will enable experts to develop relations in the spheres that we have not yet explored, but we must do it," Alasgarov added.
The expert also touched upon the cooperation in the Caspian Sea region.
“The Caspian region is not used effectively for the economic development of countries,” Alasgarov added.
"In this context, the development of the Volga-Don Canal would be interesting because the only way that connects the Azerbaijani State Maritime Agency with the world is the Volga-Don Canal,” he said. “The agreements are available in this sphere, but this point of cooperation could give more opportunities for access to the world's oceans because some ships of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Closed Joint Stock Company are outside the Caspian Sea and are sailing in international waters."
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s relations in terms of regional development, the expert also stressed Dagestan, which is Russia’s very rich region in terms of resources, including human resources.
"Dagestan is near Azerbaijan from a geographical point of view,” Alasgarov said. “Of course, the development of our economic relations would give us great opportunities in this sphere."
The expert also touched upon the cooperation in the field of nanotechnologies and space.
“Azerbaijan launched the third satellite,” he added. “Russia has enormous scientific potential in this sphere. At the same time, Russia has enormous experience in the field of nanotechnologies. We should learn something from Russia."
As for the cooperation in the field of transport, first of all, Alasgarov mentioned the free economic zone which is being created in the Azerbaijani Alat settlement.
"Of course, the free economic zone in the Alat settlement will enable the Russian companies to establish their representative offices in Azerbaijan,” he said. “Today logistics is a very strong economic tool and it brings huge profit. There are no language barriers in Azerbaijan. I don’t think that translators will be required. The Russian language is widespread here.”
Speaking about the economic cooperation in the sphere of the military-industrial complex, Alasgarov stressed that so far, the corresponding facilities, the military-industrial complexes, and Azersilah agency have been established in Azerbaijan for ensuring self-sufficiency.
"Russia, which has rich experience in this field, may participate in joint events with Azerbaijan," the expert said. “Of course, tourism may develop.”
"This is the most feasible sphere in the system of economic relations,” Alasgarov added. “I think that the development of tourism has many facets, in particular, winter tourism. The Caucasus mountains have enormous opportunities for the development of tourism in winter and summer."
The Moscow-Baku video conference entitled "Economic and Investment Cooperation of Azerbaijan and Russia: New Points of Growth" was held at the press-center of Trend news agency on March 4.
The Azerbaijani and Russian experts who discussed the pace and scale of development of the economic projects which are being implemented, the formation of an axis of stable economic interaction by Moscow and Baku were involved in the event. The current level of cooperation between the countries, potential spheres for cooperation and other issues were also considered.
According to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to $2.55 billion in 2018, including export of Azerbaijani products worth $665.74 million to Russia.
The Russian companies’ investments in Azerbaijan exceed $4 billion, while the Azerbaijani companies’ investments in the Russian Federation stood at $1 billion.