Last week review (Dec. 16-20)

Analysis Materials 24 December 2013 13:44 (UTC +04:00)

Dec. 16

Azerbaijan, Italy prepare to sign strategic partnership agreement

The level of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy have enabled the conclusion of a strategic partnership agreement between the countries, Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev told journalists as part of a meeting of the Azerbaijani-Italian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation.

"Currently, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is working on the document," he said.

"At present, Italy is the buyer of the greater part of Azerbaijani oil and accordingly, one of the main trade-economic partners of the country," he said.

"Along with participation in the energy sector of the country, Italian companies are also represented in other areas, particularly, in the construction sector and for example, Codest International and Impreza," Aliyev said. "Besides these sectors, there are opportunities for cooperation in the social sphere and transport sector."

Dec. 17

Signing ceremony of final investment decision on Shah Deniz-2 project held in Baku

The signing ceremony of the final investment decision on Shah Deniz-2 project held in Baku.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva, the heads of several countries and governments attended the event.

Shah Deniz-2 project authorization means the transition of the project from the concept into an immediate implementation stage.

The cost of the second phase of development of Shah Deniz gas condensate field is estimated at $25 billion.

Within the second phase of development it is planned to produce some 16 billion cubic meters of gas (within the first phase - 9 billion), six billion of which will be transported to Turkey and ten billion to Europe.

Azeri firms invited to invest in Iran's energy sector

Iran invited Azerbaijani companies to invest in its oil and gas projects, Tehran chamber of commerce chairman, Yahya Al-e Es'haq, said.

Mammad Musayev, the president of AEC announced that the bilateral trade is not at a satisfactory level.

Dec. 18

ADB: Traffic forecasting model to be produced for Azerbaijan's capital

The study will carry on throughout 2014 and will produce a multi-modal traffic forecasting model to analyze different options in this sphere, David Margonsztern, ADB's urban development specialist said during a consultation meeting between ADB experts and representatives of Azerbaijani Transport Ministry that discussed Baku urban transport issues, the bank's message said.

"Recommendations will be prepared on creating a parking strategy, traffic management measures, new mass-transit systems such as Bus Rapid Transit on strategic corridors, improvement of the road network and main junctions, intermodal hubs, public bicycle sharing schemes and other innovative and sustainable actions to improve Baku's traffic and relieve the capital city of its congestion," Margonsztern said.

U.S. Ambassador: Azerbaijan's WTO accession could become a step towards economic reforms

One of the key steps in the efforts of the Azerbaijani Government for carrying out economic reform, may become the country's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar said, speaking at a meeting with member companies of the Caspian-European Integration Business Club (CEIBC).

The meeting was devoted to the topic 'Consideration of the possible expansion of US-Azerbaijani relations, as well as expansion of activities of American companies in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani companies in the United States'.

Dec. 19

Deputy Minister: Implementation of Shah Deniz-2 aids strengthening of Azerbaijani-Georgian cooperation

The implementation of the second phase of development of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea will contribute to the region's economic development, Georgian Deputy Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Mariam Rakviashvili said at a regional conference titled 'The way to strengthening Eastern Partnership territorial cooperation: Azerbaijan-Georgia territorial cooperation programme'.

Shah Deniz-2 is a very large project and its implementation will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia, especially in the sphere of energy, according to Rakviashvili.

FAO to present agricultural framework program on Azerbaijan

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will in the near future present a framework program to Azerbaijan's Agriculture Ministry, FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia Mustapha Sinaceur said at a meeting with the Azerbaijani Minister of Agriculture Heydar Asadov.

Sinaceur said FAO's strategy of support for Azerbaijan reflects all aspects of the issues faced by the country's agriculture.

During the meeting the sides discussed strategy for the development of veterinary science and the creation of cattle slaughter houses. The sides also discussed issues regarding FAO's expert support to Azerbaijan.

Dec. 20

Fitch Ratings views International Bank of Azerbaijan's recapitalisation plan as positive

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) at 'BB', Stable Outlook, Fitch Ratings reported.

"The affirmation of rating reflects Fitch's view that there is a moderate probability of support for the bank, if needed, from Azerbaijan (BBB-/Stable)," according to the message.

Fitch views as moderately positive the recapitalisation plan announced by IBA in October 2013. However, in the agency's view, planned loan growth (management targets 15%-20% per annum) and dividend payments mean that there is unlikely to be a significant improvement in capital ratios.