Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I.Khalilova / The Trade Representative of Russia to Azerbaijan, Yuri Shedrin, said that despite the termination of Russian gas delivery to Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between the two countries increased as a result of four months.
"It is a positive factor because a $450-500mln decrease was forecasted as a result of the termination of Russian gas delivery to Azerbaijan. But at present Azerbaijan is transforming into a gas exporter," Shedrin said.
According to data of the State Statistics Committee and State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, a 71% growth is observed in Azerbaijani export, but import has decreased. However, excluding gas, a 28% growth is observed in foreign-trade operations compared to the first four months of 2006. In addition, import from Russia increased by 4.5%. According to Shedrin, this has been ensured by delivery of machine-building products and other areas. Currently 30% of trade turnover falls to the share of machine and technical equipment. In addition, the delivery of construction materials from Russia is increasing. Shedrin said that there are no special changes in the classification of commodities exported from Azerbaijan.
"We are involved in the issue of compensating the loss from the termination of Russian gas delivery to Azerbaijan and to implement tasks for State Heads to reach the amount of trade turnover up to $2 bln," Shedrin said.
According to him, there are reserves to ensure these goals and it needs to improve the structure of trade turnover, apply high-technological equipment and establish cooperation in IT.