Last week review (Nov.12-16)

Nov.12

Germany appreciates role of Azerbaijan in energy security of Europe

Germany appreciates Azerbaijan's role in ensuring the energy security of Europe, Minister of State at the Foreign Office of Germany Cornelia Pieper said during a speech at the opening of the Azerbaijani-German Chamber of Commerce in Baku. "Azerbaijan is the sixth oil supplier to Germany and we appreciate the role of Azerbaijan in ensuring energy security of Europe in general and Germany in particular," Pieper said.

According to her, the development of the Southern Gas Corridor has strategic importance for Germany. "Pipelines, which were designed to deliver energy to Europe, should be able to increase capacity in the future and should be open to third parties," - Pieper said.

Nov.13

Azerbaijan interested in alternative energy development

World Bank (WB) leading specialist in the field of energy Salvador Rivera has arrived in Baku to investigate the issues relating to the development of alternative and renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan.

WB Baku Office told Trend today that Rivera will look at the potential of developing alternative and renewable energy in Azerbaijan, as well as hold several business meetings with employees of the Ministry of Industry and Energy and representatives from state owned energy companies.

Azerbaijan, Iran discuss coordination of GSM frequency assignments

Azerbaijan and Iran are considering the fight against cybercrime and the coordination of frequency assignments, the head of the Office of Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies Vidadi Zeynalov said.

The issue is under discussion at the first Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) meeting of Ministers of Communications and Information Technologies, which began on Tuesday in Tehran.

An Azerbaijani delegation is participating at the meeting headed by Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Iltimas Mammadov.

Earlier Azerbaijan and Iran agreed on the coordination of GSM frequencies in border areas.
The main purpose of the coordination of radio frequency resources is to eliminate cases of intersection and provide a normal operation of mobile communications in the border areas.

The parties agreed on the use of frequency resources by operators of the two countries on an equal level which was certified by a protocol. A similar protocol was signed today with Russia and Georgia.

Currently, the two countries are preparing a new protocol providing for the regulation of intervention in air space of the countries. Technicians will be involved in development of this document.

Azerbaijan, Turkey consider development of Turkic ICT terms important

The Information Technology Institute (ITI) of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences and Information Technologies Association of Turkey have reached a preliminary agreement on cooperation in the field of information and communication technology, an ITI statement said on Tuesday.

The parties agreed to hold joint conferences and seminars and considered it important to develop the information communication technology (ICT) terms, the main purpose of which is the creation of a common terminology fund of sectorial terminology for Turkic countries.

The first steps on development of a common terminology fund of the Turkic people were taken in 1999 when a special working group was established with the support of the Turkish Information Technologies Association.

The first forum of Turkic peoples on cooperation in the field of information technologies was organised in October 2001. Later, the work of collegial agency on a variety of topics was continued in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Germany invites Azerbaijani companies to invest

Second meeting of the Azerbaijani-German High Level Group on Trade and Investment organized by the Ministry of Economic Development was held in Baku Business Center.

The event was attended by the Azerbaijani and German government representatives to the Working Group, the ministry told Trend.

The head of Administration of the Ministry of Economic Development, co-chairman of working group Samir Veliyev noted that relations between Azerbaijan and Germany are based on mutual cooperation. The high level official visits, negotiations, signed documents, including business forum and business meetings had significance in development of links.

German Federal Vice Minister of Economy and Technology, co-chairman of working group Karl-Ernst Brauner, in turn, noted the importance of the issues discussed during second meeting of the Azerbaijani-German High Level Group on Trade and Investment in development of economic-trade relations between Germany and Azerbaijan.

Within the framework of the meeting, the works conducted after the first meeting of the working group, the importance of foundation of German-Azerbaijan Foreign Trade Chamber, increasing of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries were discussed

Nov.14

Azerbaijani President attends ceremony to launch Balakan and Barda ferries of State Caspian Shipping Company

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has today attended a ceremony to launch Balakan and Barda ferries of the State Caspian Shipping Company.

Developing sea transport has been among key priorities for the Azerbaijani President. Creation of the state-of-the-art transport infrastructure increases Azerbaijan`s transit opportunities, and also strengthens the country`s regional position.

The Head of State viewed Balakan ferry.

Chairman of the State Caspian Shipping Company Aydin Bashirov informed the President of the work to renew the company`s fleet.

He told the Head of State the vessels were built last May under an agreement with Croatian Uljanik shipyard.

The vessels have 54 carriages, and are 155m in length and 18m in width each. The ferries meet all requirements of international conventions.

The President familiarized himself with technical parameters of the vessels.

As a result of President Ilham Aliyev`s attention, 10 tankers and four ferries have been bought for the State Caspian Shipping Company`s fleet in the last few years.

The number of the Company`s new vessels is now 16, including Balakan and Barda ferries.

Azerbaijan, UAE must more effectively use potential to expand business relations

Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev and UAE Deputy Minister of Economy Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi stressed the importance of effective use of the potential to expand the business relations between the two countries during a bilateral meeting on Wednesday, the ministry said today.

The sides stressed the successful continuation of the cooperation between the two countries in various sectors, including industry, agriculture, trade, construction, infrastructure, information and communication technologies, tourism, logistics, mutual investments and other areas.

According to the State Customs Committee, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates exceeded $ 79 million in January-September, where $69.8 million falls to Azerbaijan.

EU: TANAP is important infrastructure element of Southern Gas Corridor

Trans Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) is an important element of the infrastructure of Southern Gas Corridor system, which will closely connect Azerbaijan with the European Union, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger said in Brussels, during the session "The European Union and Azerbaijan: strategic partnership - Southern Gas corridor and other directions."

The meeting was held within the opening of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) representative office in Brussels, a statement published by SOCAR said on Wednesday.

SOCAR opens representative office in Belgium

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) has opened a representative office in Brussels, the company said on Wednesday.

The opening ceremony was attended by the SOCAR leadership led by the company's President Rovnag Abdullayev.

At present, SOCAR has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey and several countries of Europe, Asia, etc.

Central Bank: Activities of Commerzbank in Baku - evidence of strengthening economic ties between Azerbaijan and Germany

The activities of the German Commerzbank representation in Baku is an indication of strengthening economic ties between Azerbaijan and Germany, Director General of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Rashad Orujov stated during his speech at the event on the fifth anniversary of the Azerbaijani representation of Commerzbank.

"The banking market of Azerbaijan has always been open to foreign players and continues to be so. Parish branded banks in Azerbaijan is making its contribution to the development of the banking sector. It also plays an important role in enhancing the integration of the Azerbaijani economy in the world," Orujov said.

Nov.15

EBRD preparing new strategy for Azerbaijan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has started developing a new four-year strategy for Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan head of EBRD Neal McCain told Trend.

"We are developing a new four-year strategy for the country that will cover 2013 through 2016. Implementation has not yet begun," McCain said.

According to McCain, a delegation from London will arrive in Azerbaijan during the first quarter of 2013. They will discuss all issues of the new strategy not only with the government, but also with non-governmental organizations and other parties.

"The goal is to develop a new strategy that will assist Azerbaijan in economic development and diversification. Growth in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan is very high, compared with the growth rate of the economy in general. We believe that the process of diversification is rather active," McCain said.

According to McCain, the strategy will focus on such private sector areas as industry, agriculture and finance.

"These segments are very interesting for our bank and there are a lot of potential projects. Currently, funds are being used for the country's import and this takes the place of long-term projects," McCain said.

Establishing single financial centre for CIS countries discussed in Baku

The International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) has played a role in developing relations between the economic entities of the CIS countries, IBA board chairman Jahangir Hajiyev said at the opening ceremony of the fifth Baku International Banking Conference of CIS member states: 'CIS financial markets: new opportunities and global risks', today.

"IBA has contributed to the development of relations between the economic entities of the CIS countries, as well as their integration into CIS activity," Hajiyev said.

Chairman of the executive committee, CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev said that a positive trend has been observed in the CIS general activity for the past two years. Moreover, Azerbaijan's active position promotes the CIS countries' activity.

"At present, the issue of establishing a single financial centre for the CIS countries is being discussed," Lebedev said.

He added that the financial centre is planned to be established in Moscow.

Around 180 participants from 15 countries, including the CIS countries, U.S, Hungary, Egypt and other countries are attending the conference.

IFC considers new spheres of activity in Azerbaijan

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering new spheres of activity in Azerbaijan, IFC representative in Azerbaijan Aliya Azimova told Trend on Thursday.

"One of the priority spheres of the activity is energy efficiency, other direction - continued expansion of cooperation on regulatory reforms in the context of improving the investment climate with the government," she said.

She said that these spheres are being examined now. The operations have not been determined yet.

IFC's commitments after Azerbaijan's joining in 1995 hit nearly $ 350 million for 45 projects.

IFC (part of the World Bank Group) is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in the countries with developing and transition economies. The corporation creates the opportunities to escape poverty. The corporation provides the companies with funds, and thus contributes to the growth of employment, renders advisory services to ensure sustainable development.

Azerbaijani President receives Director of IMF`s Middle East and Central Asia Department

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation led by Director of the International Monetary Fund`s Middle East and Central Asia Department Masood Ahmed.

During the meeting, they praised development of relations between Azerbaijan and the International Monetary Fund. They discussed prospects for further cooperation.

They stressed the importance of market economy reforms, and emphasized the significance of ensuring macroeconomic stability.

They also discussed development of information and communications technologies, tourism and agriculture - key priority fields for Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani Parliament's budgeted expenses to hit 19 mln manats in 2013

Budgeted expenses of Milli Majlis for 2013 amount to 18.529 million manat, the head of Milli Majlis administrative body Firudin Hajiyev said during a debate on the draft law of the budgeted expenses for the next year..

According to him, some additional 250.000 manats will be required for the purchase of new vehicles, 850.000 manats for meeting and reception of guests, 400.000 manats- for foreign visits, 200.000 manat - for rent, 10.000 manat - for office supplies, 12.000.500 manat-for utility costs. Construction of parliament's car park for 200 cars is also planned.

The Chairman of the Committee on Agrarian Policy Eldar Ibrahimov said that despite the fact that the chiefs of Milli Majlis committees were provided with new cars, old cars have to be kept in operation.

A draft law on budgeted expenses of the Parliament in 2013 was adopted at the meeting of Milli Majlis on Thursday.

IMF, World Bank postpone Azerbaijan's financial sector assessment till 2013

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed plans for the assessment of the Azerbaijani financial sector in partnership with the World Bank within the FSAP (Financial Sector Assessment Programme) until next year.

This was stated at a press conference in Baku by director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, Masood Ahmed.

"The FSAP assessment was to be held this year, but we need some time to prepare for this work. So it will be conducted a little later, next year," Ahmed said.

Nov.16

Switzerland ready to assist in Azerbaijani Central Bank's strategic plan implementation

A meeting was held with the mission, consisting of representatives of the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Seco to discuss the opportunities of rendering technical assistance to implement the strategic plan of the Azerbaijani Central Bank (CBA) for 2011-2014, as well as the prospects for cooperation in this area.

According to the CBA, the further challenges in the area of efficiency of technical support, implementation of the strategic plan were discussed during a meeting with heads of the relevant bodies of the Central Bank.

The meetings were also held to discuss creating the financial education portal, attracting foreign experts for modeling and forecasting, developing a new model of human resource management, and others.

The advisability of attracting technical assistance to implement priority projects within the strategic plan implementation was stressed following the mission.

Creation of Azerbaijan market-makers institute encourages securities growth

Formation of a market-maker institute will contribute to further development of the securities market in Azerbaijan, BSE Chairman Emin Aliyev told reporters at a conference on the market-makers institute at BSE.

He said that one main direction of the state program for development of the 2011-2020 securities market was to stimulate supply and demand in the stock market, and that forming of a market-maker institute would be an important step in this direction.

SOCAR: TANAP to allow transporting gas from Caspian littoral countries to Europe

Azerbaijan will bring export volumes of gas at least up to 40-50 billion cubic meters by 2025, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said at the summit "New opportunities of dynamic region" in Istanbul. He said that it is planned to create a new energy corridor between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Europe within the transportation of gas to be produced within the second phase of developing Azerbaijani gas condensate field "Shah Deniz".

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