Otto Hauser: “It is not sufficient to thank Azerbaijan, Germany should support it politically”
Orkhan Sattarov, the head of the European bureau of Vestnik Kavkaza
The German diplomatic publication ‘Top Magazin’ published an article on the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Germany in recent years. The author of the article met the honorary consul of Azerbaijan to Germany, the former speaker of the German government Otto Hauser. The German politician was born in Göppingen. He headed the honorary consulate of Azerbaijan to Stuttgart in 2010. His appointment wasn’t accidental. Being the chairman of the German-Azerbaijani Forum, he had close contacts with politicians and businessmen in both countries, and it was very important, as one of duties of the honorary consul was intensification of economic ties. Therefore, in the second half of 2015, it is planned to hold a German-Azerbaijani investment conference.
The countries succeed in the sphere of economic cooperation, and the figures are self-explanatory. According to the Federal Statistics Agency of Germany, trade turnover between Germany and Azerbaijan has grown by 31.2%, up to 3.2 billion euro in the last years. Major German companies – Daimler, Bosch, Siemens, MAN, RWE, BASF – and a large number of medium-sized businesses, primarily from Baden-Württemberg, are actively working in Azerbaijan. The honorary consulate in Stuttgart issued 4700 visas in 2014; two thirds of them were issued to businessmen.
Despite positive dynamics in bilateral relations, Otto Hauser thinks that German policy should be much more active toward Azerbaijan. “Considering the fact that Azerbaijan is the sixth major oil exporter to Germany and significantly provides the energy independence of Germany, it is not sufficient to say a simple ‘thank you’. It is necessary to provide Azerbaijan with political support,” the periodical cited Otto Hauser.
“Partnership is not a one-way street. It is necessary that Germany and the EU pay more attention to the settlement of the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is illegally occupied by Armenia. From 2020, 20 billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered through Turkey to Europe. The pipelines will pass through the crisis region – and it is a clear signal for Berlin,” the politician noted.
Education is a sphere of cooperation which Otto Hauser is focused on. He is working on implementation of a dual education system in Azerbaijan. It combines getting professional education at a dedicated plant and attending theoretical lessons in a university. In 2016 in Sumgait, an industrial city near Baku, a professional college for training builders, chemists and mechanists will be open. It is also planned to establish an Engineering Department in the Economics University of Baku, together with a private school in Baden-Württemberg in the winter term 2016/2017.