Last week review (Dec. 11-15)

December 11

Deputy minister: Azerbaijan in top 3 of hazelnut exporters in world

Today Azerbaijan ranks third in export of hazelnuts in the world, Azerbaijani Deputy Agriculture Minister Seyfaddin Talibov said at the 5th meeting with donor organizations in Baku.

He said the country has already obtained a big amount of currency due to the export of hazelnuts.

"As many as 12,000 hectare-hazelnut orchards have been created in Azerbaijan,” he said. “The area of hazelnut orchards is expected to increase to 40,000 hectares in 2018. Azerbaijani hazelnuts are quite competitive in the world markets. Azerbaijan ranks third in export of hazelnuts."

According to the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC), about 45,000 tons of hazelnuts will be produced in Azerbaijan this year, which is equivalent to 17,000 tons of hazelnut kernels.

As many as 8,000 tons of Azerbaijani hazelnut kernels have already been sold. The current price for Azerbaijani hazelnut kernels is $5.5 per kilogram.

President Aliyev receives delegation of Russian State Duma

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation of the Russian State Duma, led by the head of the committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, Leonid Kalashnikov.

The sides hailed the successful development of bilateral relations in various fields and noted the role of interparliamentary cooperation in strengthening the bilateral ties.

President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the contribution of the Baku-hosted joint meeting of the Committee of the Azerbaijani Parliament on International and Inter-parliamentary Relations and the Russian State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots to this cooperation. The head of state stressed the importance of expanding cooperation at parliamentary level.

Leonid Kalashnikov extended Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin’s greetings to the head of state. He said he has been deeply impressed by the developmental processes taking place in Baku since the first days of his arrival to Azerbaijan.

Underlining that December 12 commemorates national leader Heydar Aliyev, Leonid Kalashnikov said that this great personality is revered in Russia too.

President Ilham Aliyev thanked for Vyacheslav Volodin’s greetings, and asked Leonid Kalashnikov to communicate his greetings to the chairman of the State Duma.

ADB to develop new strategy for Azerbaijan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will start developing a new strategy for operations in Azerbaijan next year, Aziz Haydarov, senior portfolio management specialist at ADB’s Azerbaijan Resident Mission, told Trend.

He said the new strategy will cover 2019-2023, adding that ADB is in constant contact with the government of Azerbaijan regarding new projects.

Touching upon the spheres of further cooperation with Azerbaijan, Haydarov noted that along with traditional spheres, new directions could be included in the strategy.

"At the moment, our areas of partnership with Azerbaijan include transport, water supply and sewerage, energy and public administration, I think we will continue and even intensify cooperation in these areas, and we do not exclude the possibility of cooperation in the social sector, given that in this direction there is interest from the relevant structures," said Haydarov.

"In particular, we are interested in working in the field of vocational education.We are also actively discussing the preparation pilot projects on public-private partnerships," he said.

ADB approved previous country strategy for Azerbaijan in 2014.

In September 2017, ADB approved a business plan for operations in Azerbaijan for 2018-2020, according to which Azerbaijan will receive funds from ADB only in the form of ordinary capital resources. The estimated cost of the ADB lending program for three years is $1.6 billion. The total cost of projects, taking into account the share of the Azerbaijani government, is 1.985 billion dollars.

ADB was founded in 1966 and 67 states are its members. The bank’s headquarters is located in Manila, Philippines.

Azerbaijan became an ADB member in 1999. Since joining ADB, Azerbaijan has received grants and loans amounting to $4.1 billion.

December 12

Preparation of DESI survey suspended in Azerbaijan

The European Commission has suspended financing for preparation of a survey on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) in Azerbaijan, Tofig Babayev, director of the Regional Information Technologies Academy (RITA), told Trend.

He said the decision was made at the last moment, therefore, the preparation of the DESI survey on Azerbaijan was also suspended.

“The suspension was caused by financing problems,” Babayev said. “On our part, we fulfilled our work on the preparation of the survey by almost 80 percent. At present, the European Commission is considering other options for resolving this issue.”

The survey was being prepared according to over 30 approved indicators of statistical information, which characterize the level of a country’s progress towards digital economy and society.

DESI is composed of five principal policy areas, which include connectivity (fixed broadband, mobile broadband, broadband speed and prices), human capital (basic skills and internet use, advanced skills and development), use of internet (citizens’ use of content, communication and online transactions), integration of digital technology (business digitization and e-commerce), and digital public services (e-government).

Azerbaijan, Russia’s Astrakhan region to outline co-op spheres for 2018

Governor of Russia’s Astrakhan region Alexander Zhilkin intends to visit Azerbaijan next week, said a message posted on the official website of Astrakhan region.

During the visit, Zhilkin intends to meet with the Azerbaijani leadership and voice a number of proposals for cooperation in 2018.

"The Azerbaijani investors became the first foreign businessmen in Astrakhan’s Lotos special economic zone in 2017,” the message said. “Azerbaijan’s ATEF Group of Companies launched the construction of a plant for the production of electrical equipment in the special economic zone. Negotiations are underway with a number of potential residents of the special economic zone, namely, Iranian, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies."

Meanwhile, the construction of the Azerbaijan Business Center in Astrakhan is nearing completion.

According to the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the Astrakhan region amounted to $14.2 million (an increase of 4.1 times a year) in January-September 2017, of which $11.2 million accounted for the supply of Azerbaijani products to this region.

Proposals on investment projects now accepted in Azerbaijan’s Goychay

The National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) under the Economy Ministry of Azerbaijan has begun accepting investment projects on priority development areas in the Goychay District, the Economy Ministry said in a message.

The NFES considered it expedient to start accepting proposals of entrepreneurs on financing start-ups as well as investment projects to create farms for animal breeding, intensive gardening, poultry breeding, as well as facilities for production of dried fruits.

Entrepreneurs can apply to the Fund through authorized credit organizations. Small projects can be fully financed through concessional loans.

About 150 million manats will be issued in preferential loans to entrepreneurs in 2017.

December 13

Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan supports consistent settlement of Palestinian-Israeli conflict by peaceful means

The decision of the US President to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is contrary to international law and the UN Security Council resolution, and the transfer of the US embassy to this city causes great concern.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made the remarks at the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul.

"This decision could negatively affect the just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, lead to dangerous consequences in the Middle East. We believe that the US should reconsider this decision," President Aliyev said.

President Aliyev said Azerbaijan supports the consistent settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by peaceful means on the basis of two-state principles with recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

"Several years ago, with the aim of assisting the Palestinian state, Azerbaijan held a donor conference in support of the founding conference of the Islamic Financial Security and Development Network of the City of Jerusalem. An international conference on the Jerusalem issue was held in July 2017 in Azerbaijan with the participation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, OIC and various non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations. A declaration was adopted at the conference condemning the occupation of East Jerusalem and the restrictions that was imposed on those who perform worship services in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. As always, we stand next to the people of Palestine today," said the President.

Railway freight carriers of Azerbaijan, Austria, Turkey sign memo

Officials from Azerbaijan Railways, Rail Cargo Austria and Turkish State Railroad Company signed a memorandum of understanding in Baku, Azerbaijan Railways said.

Azerbaijan Railways held a tripartite meeting with delegations, headed by Erik Regter, a member of the board at Rail Cargo Austria, and Veysi Kurt, General Director at Turkish State Railroad Company.

Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways informed the parties about the transport and logistics potential of Azerbaijan, the Trans-Caspian international transport route, the North-South and South-West transport corridors, as well as the newly commissioned Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that will connect Asia and Europe.

Then, issues of cooperation development were discussed.

Following the meeting, representatives of Azerbaijan Railways, Rail Cargo Austria and the Turkish State Railroad Company signed a memorandum of understanding, which includes the development of a competitive, high-speed, inter-modal railway network in Europe, the CIS and China.

Azerbaijan, Poland may open direct flights

Azerbaijan and Poland may open direct flights, Nahid Bagirov, chairman of Azerbaijan Tourism Association, told Trend.

He noted that this is caused by Polish tourists’ great interest in Azerbaijan.

At present, negotiations are underway regarding opening of the direct flights between Baku and Polish cities, Bagirov said, adding that the flights may be opened in the summer season next year.

Touching upon the growth of the tourist flow to Azerbaijan, Bagirov noted that the year 2017, just like it was expected, became very significant in terms of increasing the number of tourists arriving in the country.

“We achieved significant growth of the tourist flow to Azerbaijan,” Bagirov said. “Our country is gradually becoming popular among tourists not only from the CIS member countries and the Arab world, but also countries of Europe. I think that next year the tourist flow to Azerbaijan will continue to grow as well. Besides, we expect increase in the tourist flow to Azerbaijan from European countries in 2018.”

Reps of int’l organizations ink document to support Azerbaijani family business facilities

A document of a joint project to support family business facilities in Azerbaijan’s Sheki-Zagatala economic zone has been signed by representatives of the EU, the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Program.

Up to 30 families in Azerbaijan’s Sheki-Zagatala economic region will receive support for the development of family business facilities within the project, Rufat Elchiyev, head of the ABAD (Easy Support to Family Business) center, told reporters in Baku.

“These people will become private entrepreneurs, and will play an important role in the Azerbaijani economy,” Elchiyev said.

He added that the project will be completely implemented in 2020 and will serve the implementation of the United Nations Development Program in Azerbaijan.

He also noted that the families participating in the project will be able to manufacture products under their own brand.

“The project will be financed by all three parties,” Elchiyev said. “The ABAD Public Legal Entity will be the direct executor of the project.”

Elchiyev also noted that the project is far from being the last one in the plans of ABAD center, and that in the future, the center plans to work on projects in the field of tourism, in particular, concerning hostels.

The project organized by the EU, the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Program aims at developing family business in Azerbaijan’s villages. In total, $1.074 million were allocated for the implementation of the project.

December 14

President Ilham Aliyev receives UK minister of state

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion of the United Kingdom, co-chair of Joint Intergovernmental Commission (JIC) Baroness Rona Fairhead.

The sides hailed the successfully developing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the UK in a number of areas, including in political, economic, and energy ones, underlining good potential for further expansion of bilateral cooperation.

President Aliyev pointed to the good history of the Azerbaijan-UK economic relations, saying that the UK is the largest foreign investor in Azerbaijan. He noted the importance of the fact that BP is the key partner in Azerbaijan's global energy projects.

Praising the great works that are underway to diversify the economy in Azerbaijan, the head of state underlined the country's keenness to expand the UK companies' involvement in the non-energy sector as both investors and contractors in the years to come.

The President expressed his confidence that Baroness Rona Fairhead's visit to Azerbaijan will contribute to further expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Baroness Rona Fairhead, in turn, hailed Azerbaijan's achievements during the years of independence.

Pointing to the energy cooperation, Fairhead described the BP-Azerbaijan relations as a very important partnership, and emphasized that the British government will remain committed to continuing cooperation in this area.

She noted that the British government attaches great importance to bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, once again describing the country as an important strategic partner for the UK.

Touching upon the prospects for energy cooperation, they emphasized the successful implementation of the Shah Deniz-2 project and the extension of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli agreement.

They also exchanged views on the issues relating to the British companies' involvement in the field of infrastructure, as well as the expansion of ties in trade, mutual investment, alternative energy, agriculture, tourism and education fields.

Azerbaijan, Qatar have special relations: ambassador

Azerbaijan and Qatar have special relations which are rapidly developing in all spheres, Qatar's ambassador to Azerbaijan Yousef bin Hassan Al-Saai said.

The ambassador made the remarks in Baku at an event dedicated to Qatar National Day.

"The relations have been developing well this year,” the diplomat said. “The first meeting of the joint commission on economy, trade and technical cooperation has been held this year on January 31."

He said agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed between the two countries in economy, trade and agriculture.

Addressing the event, Azerbaijani Minister of Emergency Situations Kamaladdin Heydarov said that Qatar and Azerbaijan successfully cooperate within international organizations.

The minister appreciated Qatar’s support to Azerbaijan’s fair position over the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Azerbaijan, Netherlands may open trading houses

Azerbaijan and the Netherlands may open joint trading houses to demonstrate benefits of cooperation in agriculture and many other spheres, as well as to inform interested companies from the two countries about the possibility of participation in bilateral agro-projects, the Dutch ambassador to Azerbaijan Onno Kervers told Trend.

“We are thinking about it; we would very much like to do that,” said the ambassador.

He stressed the significance of the agro-mall functioning in Azerbaijan, where various countries display their agricultural products and technologies.

“We are still talking to entrepreneurs both in Azerbaijan and the Netherlands to see if we can make an agro-presentation in the Netherlands. That would be, of course, a very good showcase to let people see what we can do,” said Kervers.

Azerbaijan discloses new spheres for UK investments

Azerbaijan focuses on involving UK companies into the non-oil sector of its economy, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev told reporters in Baku.

The minister said that at present this is a priority.

"The oil and gas sector has always been the main sphere of ​​cooperation between two countries,” Mustafayev said. “But today we want to give a new impetus to our relations. UK may be interested in production and processing of agricultural products, tourism, transport and logistics. We urge UK companies to invest in these sectors."

In her turn, UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade, Baroness Rona Fairhead expressed her gratification with the meeting of the intergovernmental commission.

Baroness Fairhead said that UK aims at expanding cooperation in tourism, education and agriculture, adding that Azerbaijan and UK should increase bilateral trade.

The data from the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee show that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and UK amounted to $240.46 million in January-November 2017, of which almost $30 million accounted for the export of Azerbaijani products.

UK ranks first among foreign investors of Azerbaijan. Until now, UK has invested over $27 billion in the Azerbaijani economy.

Azerbaijan, UK sign co-op protocol

Azerbaijan and UK signed a protocol following the second meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation in Baku.

The document was signed by Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev and UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade, Baroness Rona Fairhead.

In the protocol, the sides agreed to further expand cooperation in economy, trade, investments, industry, tourism, energy, education, culture and other spheres.

Two memorandums were also signed between Azerbaijani and UK companies. As a result of signing these documents, pumps, used in the extractive industry, will be repaired in Azerbaijan.

Ambassador: Jordan-Azerbaijan ties developing in right direction

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan to Azerbaijan Nassar Ibrahim Mohammad al-Habashneh has received Caspian Energy’s delegation headed by President and Editor-in-Chief of Caspian Energy International Media Group Natalya Aliyeva, CEIBC said in a message.

Prospects of expansion of the Azerbaijani-Jordanian information cooperation within the framework of the Caspian European Club and Caspian Energy International Media Group were touched in the course of the meeting.

The ambassador expressed an interest towards participation of the Jordanian companies within the framework of the business forums held by the Club.

He also highly appreciated the work of the staff of Caspian Energy journal and noted that he reads interviews and articles, placed in the journal, with interest.

As the ambassador noted, Jordan is interested in expansion of the information cooperation within the framework of Caspian Energy.

Speaking about bilateral relations, the ambassador noted that despite all these challenges, the relations between Jordan and Azerbaijan including economic relations between the two countries are developing in the right course and in near future we will witness the revival in the field of trade and investments between the two countries.

He also emphasized that tourism is one of the promising areas capable of ensuring development of trade relations between the countries.

“It is an availability of attractive tourism facilities in both countries opens broad possibilities for cooperation between the tourism companies of the two countries”, the ambassador said.

First VP Mehriban Aliyeva meets with UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion

First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva has met with a delegation led by Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion of the United Kingdom, co-chair of Joint Intergovernmental Commission Baroness Rona Fairhead.

Mehriban Aliyeva noted that Rona Fairhead’s visit to the country contributes to the development of bilateral relations. Saying that Azerbaijan established cooperation with the United Kingdom in many areas after restoring its independence, Mehriban Aliyeva highlighted relations in oil and gas field and noted the role of cooperation with BP in these relations. Mehriban Aliyeva said BP has operated in Azerbaijan for more than 20 years. Mehriban Aliyeva said this cooperation is highly appreciated in Azerbaijan. Mehriban Aliyeva noted that the new phase of Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli started, the new contract was signed this year, adding that this demonstrates that the ongoing cooperation serves interests of both the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan. Saying BP is the main investor in Shah Deniz-2 project and that TANAP project will be finished next year, Mehriban Aliyeva noted that Azerbaijan contributes to Europe’s energy security with these projects.

Stressing the importance of establishing broad and successful cooperation in other areas of economy in the future, including non-oil sector, Mehriban Aliyeva pointed out great prospects for increasing trade turnover, expanding cooperation in the areas of tourism, agriculture, high technologies, transport. Mehriban Aliyeva expressed her confidence that this visit will create new opportunities for cooperation.

Emphasizing the significance of humanitarian cooperation for the two nations` better knowing each other, Mehriban Aliyeva pointed out the expansion of Azerbaijan-UK relations in the field of education in recent years. The First Vice-President said there are 16 English language-schools in Azerbaijan and hundreds of Azerbaijanis study in the United Kingdom.

Saying there are ample opportunities for cooperation in the field of culture, Mehriban Aliyeva stressed high-level relations between Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Education and the University of Oxford. “I highly appreciate our bilateral relations,” said Mehriban Aliyeva, expressing her confidence that this cooperation will expand based on the mutual interests.

Rona Fairhead thanked for the hospitality extended to her in Azerbaijan. Baroness Rona Fairhead spoke of the meetings she held in Azerbaijan, noting the importance of the discussions in terms of expanding and strengthening bilateral relations.

Azerbaijan could be key link between Asia and Europe

Azerbaijan could be the most important key link between Asia and Europe by launching multi-billion transit projects that stretch from China to Western Europe, Fuad Shahbazov, a foreign policy analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Republic of Azerbaijan, told Azernews and Trend.

"Lapis Lazuli Corridor, which is the product of five-years-long negotiations among five countries, is seen as one of the most prospective transit project linking Asia with Caucasus and Europe. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, which are participants to the project, will mostly get benefits as transit countries and gateway to Europe. Due to its geographic location, Azerbaijan has become a transit hub for many countries including Russia, Iran, Ukraine, Poland, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, China, Turkey and etc," he noted.

The expert also emphasized the importance of this project for Afghanistan.

"The landlocked Afghanistan has always been keen to orchestrate the Lapis Lazuli project as the most reliable and safe route in order to make inroads to European markets," he added.

Asked about possible pitfalls of the project, the expert noted that there are no certain security concerns from the point of view of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, although they exist in terms of Afghanistan.

"The main source of concern is the growing militant activities in Afghanistan and in its borderline with Turkmenistan. However, official Kabul assures its partners that the Afghan Armed Forces are able to take adequate measures to ensure the safety of the transit route," he added.

Shahbazov further underlined that Lapis Lazuli would likely compete with the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is supposed to allow Chinese goods to travel south via Pakistan and then be shipped by sea from the South Asian country’s Gwadar port.

The regional importance of the project cannot be overestimated.

Afghanistan and Turkmenistan heavily count on the project as a key link between Asia and Europe, according to the expert.

"Undoubtedly, Asian countries are in need of new potential markets to export their goods and boost the economy. In this regard, the long awaited Lapis Lazuli is a savior for South Asia. Moreover, Lapis Lazuli Corridor is strategically geared toward freeing Afghanistan from dependence on Pakistani, Iranian and Russian ports for its exports," he concluded.

Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed an agreement on the creation of the Lapis Lazuli transport corridor which is set to connect the five countries on November 15, 2017.

The trans-regional corridor will encompass mainly railways and highways, which will connect the city of Torghundi in the Afghan province of Herat with the port of Turkmenbashi on the shore of the Caspian Sea via Ashgabat.

From Turkmenbashi, goods will be able to travel further by ferry to Baku, where they would be placed on train cars and continue westward to Europe across the South Caucasus via the newly launched Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Further, the corridor will pass through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches to Poti and Batumi, and, then, from Ankara to Istanbul.

The budget of the project is estimated to exceed $2 billion. Consultations on the creation of the transport corridor began back in 2012. Four technical discussions on the Lapis Lazuli Corridor agreement have been held, with the most recent occurring on March 31, 2016. National railways and motorways are already forming a significant part of this transport corridor, so the agreement is primarily aimed at facilitating transit logistics and simplifying customs procedures.

The initiative seeks to improve transport infrastructure and procedures (including for road, rail, and sea), increase exports, and expand the economic opportunities of citizens in countries benefiting from this new transport corridor.

Barriers to regional trade and transit and transaction costs will be reduced, in part, through a new Custom Integration Procedure and, between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, a new Cross-Border Transport Agreement. Its projected impact is considerable not only because most of the needed infrastructure is already in place, but also because most of the investment required will focus on improving policy and governance.

The name ‘Lapis Lazuli’ is derived from the historic route that Afghanistan’s lapis lazuli and other semiprecious stones were exported along, over 2,000 years ago, to the Caucasus, Russia, the Balkans, Europe, and North Africa.

Baku`s bid to host World Expo 2025 presented at Heydar Aliyev Center

A presentation was held at the Heydar Aliyev Center for representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan over Baku's bid to host World Expo 2025.

Executive Director of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Anar Alakbarov, assistant to the first vice-president of Azerbaijan, Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE ) Elchin Amirbayov and Executive Director for Expo 2025 Baku Operations Secretariat Paul Foster addressed the presentation ceremony.

At the event, the participants were informed about the work carried out regarding Baku's bid to host World Expo 2025 and steps to be taken.

It was noted that the letter of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev about the nomination of Baku for holding the World Expo 2025 was transferred to the BIE on May 18.

Speaking about the reception organized with the participation of the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, in Paris on Nov.14 on the occasion of Baku's bid to host World Expo 2025, Alakbarov said that the Azerbaijani government is providing high political support to the project.

He noted that Azerbaijan pursues the chance to bring the World Expo to Baku and to this part of the world for the first time.

Talking about the success and experience of Azerbaijan in holding international events, Alakbarov highlighted that Baku hosted the World Summit of Religious Leaders in 2010, the Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in 2016, the biannual Baku International Humanitarian Forum, the World Forum of Intercultural Dialogue supported by UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the World Tourism Organization, ISESCO - created unique opportunities for active cooperation between member states of the Council of Europe and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other event.

December 15

Ilham Aliyev: 30 carpet factories planned to be created in Azerbaijan

It is planned to create 30 carpet factories in Azerbaijan, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said.

The president made the remarks at a meeting with the staff of the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park after attending a groundbreaking ceremony for new enterprises.

The head of the state noted that a great attention is paid to the development of carpet weaving in recent years, and ten carpet factories opened in a short period of time.

"Ten more factories will be opened next year and we plan to create thirty carpet factories. Of course, local raw materials needed for successful activity of these factories and the foundation of the spinning and dyeing factory has been laid. This enterprise will be created through public investment. So, we will provide all carpet weavers, who work at these factories, as well as individually working carpet masters with raw material," the president said.

New buses to run in Baku

New buses have been delivered to Baku as part of the renovation of the bus fleet, the Baku Transport Agency told Trend.

Twenty buses, brought by Cinar Trans LLC, fully meet the requirements of the Baku Transport Agency’s regulatory documents. New buses, which also meet the Euro-5 standard, will improve the quality of passenger service.

As a whole, Cinar Trans LLC brought 65 new buses to Baku in 2017. Eighty five buses are planned to be purchased and brought in 2018.

According to the requirements of the Baku Transport Agency, 350 passenger buses will be brought to Baku in January-June 2018. The length of 20 buses will be 18 meters. New buses will mainly run in the city center.

Azerbaijan’s delegation takes part in ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held the 10th ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN 2017) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the press service of State Civil Aviation Administration of Azerbaijan reported.

In total, 426 delegates from 66 states and one international organization took part in the event. During five days, 456 negotiations and meetings were held, 420 bilateral documents were signed and initialed.

The delegation of Azerbaijan’s State Civil Aviation Administration, headed by Director of the Administration Arif Mammadov, held talks with the civil aviation delegations of 15 countries. Texts of intergovernmental air service deals were agreed upon with delegations of Australia, Kenya, New Zealand, Thailand and the Seychelless.

Negotiations on operation of air transport were held with delegations representing Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

From the Azerbaijani side, an official of the Foreign Ministry also took part in the negotiations.

Azerbaijan preparing several draft laws in innovations sphere

Several draft laws in the innovations sphere are being prepared in Azerbaijan, Elmir Valizade, the country’s deputy minister of transport, communication and high technologies, said.

He was speaking at the conference titled “Technologies and Innovations: Prospects of Economic Reforms and Development” in Baku.

He noted that at present, the work is underway regarding venture capital financing, increasing investment flow to Azerbaijan and development of innovation activity.

“We think that all this in general will contribute to the development of innovation activity in Azerbaijan,” he said. “A lot will depend on the business sector, and the Azerbaijani state is ready to provide the necessary support in this issue.”

EIB to introduce fast-track financing in Central Asia amid COVID-19 pandemic
EIB to introduce fast-track financing in Central Asia amid COVID-19 pandemic
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COVID-19 cases in Tajikistan climb to 6,364
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MFA: UN General Assembly to hold special session upon President Aliyev's initiative
Uber agrees to pay $3.8 million Denmark fine over taxi law
Thailand plans economic rehab centre for post COVID-19
Agriculture sector of Kazakhstan increases attracted investments
Iran, Iraq trade to improve following borders reopening
Azerbaijan’s Ganja Instrument-Making Plant launches new product
Indian car part makers aim to establish production in Uzbekistan
Italy's Armani returned to sales growth in 2019
North-South transport corridor to give almost twofold reduction of transportation costs
China to implement new construction project in Georgia
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan discloses revenues for 18 years
Italy likely to extend state of emergency due to coronavirus crisis
IGB may allow to import gas from Middle East, Africa
Botswana gets first test results on elephant deaths
Britain committed to agree principles on Brexit deal in July talks
Iran reveals data on olefin unit construction at Ilam Petrochemical Company
Britain committed to agree principles on Brexit deal in July talks
WHO advance team on way to China to set up probe into virus origin
Azerbaijan's import of steel from Turkey slightly down during pandemic
Turkmenistan reveals volume of oil, gas reserves in Turkmen sector of Caspian Sea
Iran's crippled auto industry hopes for price liberalization
Kazakhstan’s postal service operator to buy accumulators via tender
Georgia completes project on medical masks production
Kazakhstan's economy contracts in 1H2020
Iran reveals launch date of COVID-19 human trials
Russia's Dagestan seeks to export poultry products to Azerbaijan
Iran gov't to improve livelihood of more than 3 million households
Uzbekistan to grant use of UzAuto brand to new companies
UK economy to slump over 10%, debts to surge - Moody's
EU's Michel lays out recovery plan for summit negotiation
Kazakhstan working to link its Aktau port with Iranian Caspian port
Kazakhstan leading among importers of agricultural products from Uzbekistan
Iran's Chabahar-Zahedan railway to connect to India-Russia rail network
Renewable gas can be more competitive in future
Georgian TBC Bank included in FTSE4Good Index Series
Turkey strengthening security measures in public places due to COVID-19
Gold price in Azerbaijan declines on July 10
First online AHK Impuls was dedicated to the impact of the pandemic on tourism
Irish IDI may attract foreign companies to Free Economic Zone of Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan, Romania intend to develop co-op in priority areas
IEA estimates 108% compliance rate with OPEC+ agreement
Level of oil demand decline to improve in 2H20
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