Shahin Mustafayev: "Azerbaijani-Russian relations are developing very successfully on a mutually beneficial basis"
The 10th Russian-Azerbaijani Interregional Forum, organized by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, is taking place in Moscow. The forum is attended by First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, heads of economic departments of Russia and Azerbaijan Maxim Oreshkin and Mikail Jabbarov, Russian governors and heads of executive authorities of cities and regions of Azerbaijan, business representatives of both countries. Vestnik Kavkaza spoke to vice prime-minister of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev on the sidelines of the events.
- How do you assess the current state of Russian-Azerbaijani relations?
- Russian-Azerbaijani relations are developing very successfully in all directions: political, economic, humanitarian, as well as relations between Azerbaijan and the regions of Russia. An official visit of the first vice-president of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva to Russia is currently underway. She has a very rich program, and the fact that the Interregional Forum is being held as part of the visit of the First Vice President of Azerbaijan gives a special charm to our relations. I think that the official visit of Mehriban Aliyeva will give a new impulse to the development of cooperation between our countries.
From the point of view of development of economic relations, I would like to highlight the huge growth in trade volume last year - it increased by almost 20%. In the first nine months of this year, we have already seen 24% increase in trade turnover. Against the background of trade wars, sanctions, and embargos, obtaining such results is especially pleasant and extremely important for the development of economic ties between our countries.
Investment cooperation is also developing successfully. Investments of the Russian Federation in the economy of Azerbaijan have already reached almost $5 billion. This is a great indicator. Azerbaijani investments are also increasing from year to year - now they've reached over $1.2 billion. This number is very impressive.
Last year, the presidents of our countries signed a document on the main directions of socio-economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia and an action plan to implement these main directions. The main areas include trade, digitalization of the economy, especially in the fiscal sphere, tourism and the implementation of joint projects. We work very successfully in these areas.
- What joint projects are the most interesting?
- In the field of financial cooperation, large financial investments were made by Gazprombank; SOCAR Polymer plant was built for the production of polypropylene and low-pressure polyethylene; Gazprombank also participates in the modernization of production association Azerkhimiya.
Private sectors of Azerbaijan and Russia cooperate very effectively. During the meeting of intergovernmental commission in Baku on December 9, the R-Pharm company’s drug manufacturing plant will open in Pirallahi, where we have created an industrial park. $80 million will be investmented in it. The first phase will be ready soon. I hope that soon we will begin building the second stage.
Service center for repairs and maintenance of Mi helicopters will also be built. This center is of regional importance. In addition, Gazelle cars center is almost finished.