(MENAFN - AzerNews)
By Leman Mammadova
This year, Azerbaijan increases non-oil exports particularly in the agricultural and industrial spheres.
Azerbaijan's foreign trade turnover increased by 28.8 percent in the first five months of this year, said Rufat Mammadov, Deputy Economy Minister, at a press conference.
In his words, in the reporting period, Azerbaijan carried out trade operations with 174 countries.
He noted that the country's non-oil exports increased by 17.8 percent in January-May, stressing that, in particular, export of agricultural products increased by 36.7 percent.
The increase was due to the growth in production, as well as the range of products and access to new foreign markets. Currently, Azerbaijan exports almost 2,200 types of products.
Touching upon the industrial production, Mammadov pointed out that so far, residents of industrial parks produced goods worth 1.4 billion manats ($0.8 billion), adding that industrial products worth 267 million manats ($157 million) were exported.
At present, there are 5 industrial parks in Azerbaijan Sumgayit, Garadagh, Mingachevir, Pirallahi and Balakhani, - as well as 3 industrial districts Neftchala, Masalli and Hajigabul. In addition, work is underway to launch the Sabirabad industrial zone.
To date, more than 40 residents have been registered in industrial parks in the country, 24 of which have already begun production. By the end of 2019, 12 more residents will launch production.
To date, $3.3 billion has been invested in industrial parks. About 9,000 permanent jobs have been created in these parks. At the next stage, $400 million is expected to be invested and more than 1,600 jobs to be opened.
Establishment of industrial parks with modern production infrastructure envisages sustainable development of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector, increasing the export capability of the country's economy, as well as the production of competitive, import-substituting products, providing employment of local population.
Easing tax burdens and allowing entrepreneurs more space to maneuver may have a positive effect on this industry in terms of big changes ahead.
During the press conference, Yusif Abdullayev, Acting President of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), noted that to date, 13 million manats ($7.6 million) was paid to entrepreneurs through the export promotion program, including 4.9 million manats ($2.8 million) in 2018, and 5 million manats ($2.9 million) in the first five months of 2019.
The state budget of Azerbaijan for 2019 provides for funds in the amount of 15 million manats ($8.8 million) to pay incentives to exporters of non-oil products.
Speaking of the Azerbaijani wine and trading houses in foreign countries, Abdullayev noted that the wine house in Russia's Yekaterinburg will be opened in July 2019, adding that another Azerbaijani wine house is scheduled to open in St. Petersburg.
He also said that negotiations are underway to open wine houses in various regions of China.
The opening of the Azerbaijani trading house will take place in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan by the end of the year, he added.
At the same time, there will be an export mission to Switzerland in July, where a business forum is scheduled.
Abdullayev further stressed that in the framework of export missions organized in 2019 to China, Poland, Latvia and Qatar, Azerbaijani entrepreneurs signed agreements on the supply of products worth $3 million.
'The deliveries of products for $1 million have already been made. The largest contract was signed during the export mission to Latvia - for the supply of hazelnuts in the amount of $300,000, he noted.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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