(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan is Austria's largest trading partner in the South Caucasus. Cooperation between the two countries in the economic sphere is at a satisfactory level. Over the years, a number of Austrian companies have been successfully operating in Azerbaijan.
The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber will organize an economic mission to Baku in early November with a special emphasis on energy, infrastructure, agriculture, technology and environmental technologies, Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs told Trend.
The ministry noted that the Joint Economic Commission is an important forum for assessing and strengthening bilateral economic relations and discussing opportunities and cooperation projects.
'The next meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in Baku in 2020, the Austrian ministry said.
The Joint Commission for Economic, Agricultural, Industrial, Technical and Technological Cooperation operates between the two countries. The most dynamic areas of cooperation are energy, transportation, tourism and construction.
Speaking about investment opportunities between Azerbaijan and Austria, the ministry informed that at the moment, Austrian companies do not have a strong presence in Azerbaijan.
'About 15 Austrian companies are represented on the Azerbaijani market by subsidiaries or joint ventures with an investment volume of about 2 million euros. Two companies from Azerbaijan are present in Austria, the ministry added.
It also recalled that Austria's ÖBB Rail Cargo Group and Azerbaijan Railways signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2017 to enhance cooperation and create new transportation on the Trans-Caspian Silk Road rail route.
In this regard, the ministry said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a strategic project to develop and strengthen rail freight routes between Europe and Central Asia.
In 2018, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria amounted to almost $400 million, about $67 million of which fell on imports from Austria, while Azerbaijani exports to Austria reached $330 million.
The highest level of trade turnover between the two countries was registered in 2015, when it amounted to 525 million euros.
Azerbaijan mainly imports pharmaceutical products, iron and steel products from Austria. The country's exports to Austria are primarily oil, gas and copper products.
Austrian companies invested $73 million in Azerbaijan's economy, while Azerbaijan invested $60 million in the economy of Austria. Transport sector is now the main area for investments in Azerbaijan for Austrian companies.
Austria supports Azerbaijan's role in the diversification of energy supplies to Europe and highly appreciates energy projects implemented by Azerbaijan in this direction. Austria expects gas volumes from Azerbaijan to be delivered via Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy and further to other European countries, including Austria, when the Southern Gas Corridor will be fully put into operation.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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