Trade trip chance to boost Australia-Azerbaijan ties

Aydan Rzayeva and John Hammond
Aydan Rzayeva and John Hammond

Swan Valley wine may soon be sipped on the Caspian Sea, with RiverBank Estate seeking to promote its finest during an upcoming trade delegation to Azerbaijan. The winery will be among a number of local businesses travelling to the country, which borders Iran and Russia, in late October.

As The West Australian in an article "Trade trip chance to boost WA-Azerbaijan ties", the trip has been organised by the Azerbaijani honorary consul, Aydan Rzayeva, who is seeking to boost trade ties between the two regions. It is part of a charm offensive by the Azerbaijani Government, which last year hosted three political delegations from Australia. The friendship is based on some striking similarities between the two regions, both rich in iron ore and natural gas, and with residents who appreciate decent wine. In Azerbaijan’s case, it is also seeking to boost its livestock quality — an area where WA has achieved a world reputation.

Ms Rzayeva, who also runs a local construction company, said part of the appeal of the Muslim country was that it was highly westernised and had a liberal outlook. She said she had fielded increasing interest from big businesses, such as Foster Wheeler, wanting to investigate opportunities in Azerbaijan. Lawyer John Hammond, who is a consultant to the honorary consul and is helping organise the trip, said several WA shipbuilders had contracts in Azerbaijan, and there were opportunities for local businesses involved in dairy, livestock, tourism, wine and mining and resources.