BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 15. Latvia and Azerbaijan should find new ways of cooperation in agriculture, Latvian Minister of Agriculture Kaspars Gerhards, who is on a visit to Baku, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
“Latvia and Azerbaijan have established very good political relationship over the last 30 years. We also have good relations in different sectors of economy and we have good examples of this cooperation. We can also improve this cooperation especially, it this tough time coupled with COVID-19 and the situation in Ukraine. We should find new ways of cooperation in terms of logistics, new products, new ideas,” he said.
Gerhards recalled that Riga hosted the meeting of Latvia-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Commission in May, as a result of which important agreements were signed between the institutions of the two countries.
“In this sense, we have good opportunities for cooperation on different projects and during my visit to Azerbaijan I met with the ministers of agriculture, ecology and economy in order to discuss how we can improve our relationship. As the next step, we see cooperation in food security, between our universities, especially, in the field of veterinary, agriculture. Forestry will be a very interesting part of our cooperation and we discussed this issue with the minister of ecology. Latvia has experience in forest industry – 53 percent of our territories are covered by forests. Of course, Azerbaijan will also do a lot to restore forests in Karabakh. Today we discussed how Latvian companies in building industry, environmental protection could help to restore Karabakh,” said the minister.
Gerhards pointed out that Latvia and Azerbaijan do not fully use the existing potential of cooperation in agriculture.
“Latvia and Azerbaijan are very different in the sphere of agriculture. Latvia is a country with years-long traditions in diary, while Azerbaijan has very good experience in growing fruits and vegetables. But we can find some synergies – we can export cheese and other diary products to Azerbaijan and would like to import from Azerbaijan fruits. Unfortunately, we don’t use the whole potential of cooperation. Therefore, we should work together at different levels, such as ministerial, institutional and business. Amid the challenges to food security, we should think about new supply chains. One of the options is to buy fertilizers from Azerbaijan. The situation is not so easy, but in cooperation between governments, as well as on different platforms, we can find solutions,” he concluded.
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