Weekly economic review

Last week the Indian delegation headed by the Indian state minister for commerce, Jayram Ramesh. The Indian State Ministers for Commerce, Jayram Ramesh, stated in Baku on 11 April that India is interested in co-operating with Azerbaijan in the oil and gas sector.

" India would like to establish a joint venture between the State oil Company of Azerbaijan and the State Oil Company of India. The joint venture is intended to study the development of the Caspian oil and gas resources," he noted.

India is an investor of oil and gas projects, particularly in Russia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq and Brazil. He noted that India is interested in co-operating with Azerbaijan within the gas industry. "It is possible to establish a gas distribution joint venture in cities," the Minister added. "It is possible to establish a gas distribution joint venture in cities," the Minister added.

The Azerbaijani Government is ready to view India as one of the markets in which to put its investments. " India's market is very interesting to us for the expansion of our investment possibilities. We have to define foreign countries for our investments, and we consider India to become one of these markets," Heydar Babayev, Azerbaijan's Economic Development Minister, said.

There are possibilities for us to cooperate with India starting from IT and the field of education inclusive. However, IT may become the priority in our future cooperation, as India is one of the leading-most countries in this field. We may also consider cooperating with India in reprocessing agricultural production; while Azerbaijan has a developed agricultural sector, India is much more experienced in this matter.

India has expressed a readiness to double the quota for Azerbaijan on training participation. Today, the annual quota for Azerbaijan is twenty-five seats, meaning an increase to fifty. the Indian Centre for Information Technologies has recently been established in Tashkent, and Azerbaijani youth may take part in trainings held in this centre in the Uzbek Capital. "We may elaborate a programme on cooperation in this field for this purpose. We have had a corresponding experience with many countries. India is successful in passing trainings, and we may offer to share our success in cooperation with Azerbaijan," concluded the Indian Minister.

The next sphere of interest for cooperation was the reproduction of agriculture production. Though Azerbaijan has developed agro-industrial field, India has great experience in this sphere. He also suggested that the foundation of joint ventures in pharmaceuticals might be very interesting.

In 2006 the Indian goods import by Azerbaijan made up $57.4mln, whereas export made up only $1mln.

Soon it is planned to restore air transportation between Azerbaijan and India, Azerbaijani air flights to Delhi were ceased in 2006 due to their non-profitability. The direct flights between the two countries assume special importance for the development of tourism.

The first Agreement to establish an intergovernmental commission on co-operation with regards to trade, science and technology was signed in Baku

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