Last week was remembered in Azerbaijan as the week of Russia. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, honored the solemn opening ceremony of Russia in Azerbaijan. The 10th meeting of the Azerbaijani-Russian economic commission was held in Baku on 21 February. Heads of the Russian regions, the authorized representative of Kabardino-Balkaria and Governor of Stavropol province were in attendance.

Speaking on the state and perspectives of development of trade-economic relationships on long-term cooperation program between Azerbaijan and Russia by 2010, it was noted that the economic relationships have been intensified and Russia continued to be a major trade partner for Azerbaijan. Good turnover between the two countries comprised $1bn displaying a 128.7% rise in respect to 2004 and 4.3 time to 2001.

Victor Khristienko, the co-chair of the commission, said that favorable conditions allowed attaining such a level in two years, though it was designed for 5-year period. Considerable rise in the stricture of goods turnover was observed in the items of foodstuff and agriculture products, which rose twice a year. Khristienko regarded it as a rest of development of inter-regional cooperation.

Establishment of Joint Ventures, representative offices and branches of enterprises was regarded as one of the important lines in bilateral cooperation. About 400 enterprises and organizations with the Russian capital have been registered in Azerbaijan. Khristenko stated his readiness to introduce the Russian innovations in production, small energy sectors, to invite Russian companies to participate in building, agricultural an industrial exhibitions.

Around 200 representatives from 26 Russian regions started the business-forum on 22 February.

An Azerbaijani-Russian business center will be built in Azerbaijan, Yuriy Kudimov, the head of the National Reserve Bank, said. As of initial accounts it will comprise $150-200m and the center will also include hotel complex.

Some investment companies are probable to participate in financing of the project, Kudimov noted. At present the selection of place and general review of the project are underway.

Moreover, the company participates in the implementation of a dwelling project in Baku and holds talks with the government on possible participation of the company in the process of privatization of some local enterprises.

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