BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 3
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The European Union (EU) hopes to be able to return to the negotiating table on the new partnership agreement with Azerbaijan and solve the pending issues as soon as possible, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas told Trend.
“Although the format of videoconferences has been used frequently for high level meetings in the framework of Eastern Partnership (Ministerial Meeting and Leaders video conference), we realize that certain meetings are very difficult to conduct online. Therefore, the pending issues in our negotiations on the new bilateral agreement and the future aviation agreement have not been discussed and no progress can be reported. We hope to be able to return to the negotiating table and solve the pending issues as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we should use all available digital technologies not to lose time,” he said.
Jankauskas named some deliverables for the next months:
1) Roaming Agreement for EaP - to underline common roaming tariffs providing easy and cheap connections in future between EU and EaP countries. Agreement to be signed by Dec 2020 among EaP countries at the first phase, this agreement foreseen to be stretched to all EU countries, by 2026.
2) Support to SME’s: a new EU Twining project is being launched. The project will help to further develop business statistics in the country according to the best European standards. Overall objective of the project is to increase capacity among local operators to collect, process, harmonise, analyse, publish and disseminate business statistics measuring the performance of the private sector/SMEs in Azerbaijan. Tax Agency under the Ministry of Economy and the State Statistics Committee are the main beneficiaries.
3) The regular EU-AZE Business Forum is planned for the end of 2020 - first quarter of 2021. Forum is a good platform for reviewing the Azerbaijani business climate for EU companies, creating a basis for further effective public-private dialogue. This year's Forum intends to present the annual progress of economic reforms 2019-2020, impact of COVID to business, as well as to analyse the main priorities and challenges for EU Businesses in Azerbaijan.
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