Baku and Beijing are increasing economic cooperation

Baku and Beijing are increasing economic cooperation

Azerbaijan invites China to cooperate more actively with local business companies, especially in the industrial field, the Deputy Economy Minister of Azerbaijan, Niyazi Safarov, said at the meeting of the Azerbaijan-China Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.

During the meeting, the sides discussed issues of cooperation in the field of high technologies, air transport, alternative energy, agriculture, education, as well as prospects for expanding relations. Following the meeting the sides signed a protocol.

Safarov said that currently Chinese companies are involved in 12 projects, and teh volume Chinese investment is more than $640 million. The deputy minister added that today some 77 enterprises with Chinese capital operate in Azerbaijan. Referring to the prospects of cooperation between the two countries, he said that they have a solid lesgilative base: Azerbaijan and China signed so far more than 66 documents, 22 of which regulate trade and economic relations.

Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Co-chair of the Commission, Abid Sharifov, in turn, drew attention to the fact that Baku and Beijing have long-term ties based on mutual respect and beneficial for all sides, the Chinese Xinhua news agency reports. Sharifov highlighted the efficient work of the Chinese company Huawei with their partners in Azerbaijan. The Deputy Prime Minister also drew attention to the cooperation in transport and logistics, reminding that the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway would link Asia and Europe. "The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will open the shortest corridor that would link railways of China and Europe. This will increase the volume of transported goods," Trend cited him as saying.

SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev, for his part, reminded that the company has been cooperating with the China National Petroleum Corporation for 15 years, and purchased equipment used in the petrochemical sector worth over $500 million. At the same time he said that the sides intend to expand business contacts, recalling the signing of a memorandum of understanding aimed at cooperation in the oil and petrochemical sectors in June 2016.

"China and Azerbaijan are good friends and partners, and this contributes to a dynamic growth of bilateral trade and economic relations," the Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming said. Speaking about a great potential for economic cooperation, the deputy minister noted that China considers Azerbaijan an important partner in the realization of the Silk Road Project.