Mikayil Jabbarov: developing interaction between regions is priority of Russia-Azerbaijan cooperation
The development of interaction between regions is a priority area of Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov said today, opening the 10th Russia-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reports.
"Azerbaijan maintains economic relations with more than 70 entities of the Russian Federation. The heads of our states attach great importance to this format, and their participation in last year’s forum is the best confirmation. This anniversary forum is held with the participation of Azerbaijan’s First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva and Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matvienko at a plenary meeting, which once again underlines the serious support of regional cooperation by the leadership of our countries," he said in the first place, adding that the forum provides a unique platform for meetings between both businessmen and public figures of Russia and Azerbaijan.
“In addition to traditional areas such as industry, agriculture, transport and logistics, yesterday, at the meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Mehriban Aliyeva, an agreement was reached on the development of a new roadmap that would cover the sphere of advanced technology. I think that it will be realized in close interaction of our universities. We can talk about success in this direction only by ensuring a close connection between educational institutions, science and economic entities," Mikayil Jabbarov emphasized.
"Our countries are bound by strategic partnership and friendship, centuries-old relations, whose dynamics can also be seen in trade and economic ties. It is time for us to set a medium-term goal - to break the $3 billion bar in annual trade," he said.
"I am pleased that, along with the large volume of Russian investments in Azerbaijan, which amount to almost $5 billion now, Azerbaijani investments in Russia are also growing - $2.2 billion. Azerbaijani companies and government agencies feel comfortable in Russian investment environment," the Azerbaijani Economy Minister pointed out.
"In order to diversify our economy and create a comfortable investment environment, Azerbaijan applies various measures to support entrepreneurship and investment activities. A special legislative regime has been created, which includes industrial parks, technology parks with preferential tax and customs regimes, a system of preferential loans and even tax incentives for individuals persons who work under labor contracts in the non-oil sector," Mikayil Jabbarov said.
"The energy sector is an important area of cooperation. Russian companies are successfully working in the oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan, and in addition to mutual energy supplies, work is underway to create an international North-South energy corridor. A landmark project is the International North–South Transport Corridor. The international North-West transport corridor operates successfully," he noted.
"The growth of mutual tourist flow not only gives economic potential, but also has an extremely beneficial effect on human contacts, on strengthening the friendship and good neighborliness, the strategic partnership that we have," the Azerbaijani Minister of Economy pointed out.
"You know that Azerbaijan pays special attention to the preservation and development of the Russian language. There are 338 schools and 14 state universities with instruction in Russian in the country. All this is carried out at the expense of the state budget of Azerbaijan, and shows the level of strategic attention paid the the country's leadership to this area. Russian universities are very popular among Azerbaijani youth, more than 11 thousand of our students study in Russia. There are Russian students in Azerbaijan as well," Mikayil Jabbarov said.
"An important role in promoting cooperation in science and education, of course, belongs to Russian universities operating in Azerbaijan - Lomonosov Moscow State University and Sechenov Moscow State Medical University. I am glad that a number of other Russian universities are also interested," the Azerbaijani Minister of Economy emphasized.
"I should also note the important role of the Azerbaijani-Russian and Russian-Azerbaijani business councils, which carry out a special mission in establishing and promoting mutually beneficial operations between the business circles of the two countries. I would like to thank Gurbanov Samed Aydinovich and Alexey Repik for the active participation of business councils in the implementation new projects, productions, encouraging and increasing mutual trade, as well as for putting forward new ideas and initiatives to expand the bilateral business agenda," Mikayil Jabbarov thanked.
He also thanked Minister of Economic Development of Russia Maxim Oreshkin and his colleagues for fruitful cooperation at the agency level.
"In two weeks, a regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission will be held in Baku. On the Russian side, it is led by my respected colleague Maxim Oreshkin, on the Azerbaijani side, by Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev. I am confident that our close and effective cooperation will contribute to strengthening strategic and friendly relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation for the benefit and prosperity of our peoples," Mikayil Jabbarov concluded.
The 10th Russia-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum is held in Moscow on November 22-23. The event is co-organized by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Economy. The forum is attended by Azerbaijani First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, the Russian Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matvienko, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin and Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, Russian governors and heads of executive authority of Azerbaijani cities and regions, as well as businessmen from both countries.