(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov and Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan have discussed the successful development of cooperation between the two countries.
During the meeting in Baku on April 2, Jabbarov emphasized that Azerbaijan and Turkey, united by common interests and values, are always side-by-side as the closest strategic allies in the world. He added that Turkey's strong political and moral support for Azerbaijan during the 44-day Patriotic War is a vivid example of this.
Priorities in ties
Noting that one of the priorities in relations between the countries is to have close trade ties, the minister underlined the plans to increase trade turnover between the countries in 2021 and exceed the indicators of 2019. He added that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to $4.2 billion, which is about 8 percent less than a year ago.
Moreover, Jabbarov added that the agreement "on preferential trade", which entered into force on March 1, 2021, will contribute to the increase in trade turnover between the two countries.
The minister also emphasized that Azerbaijan and Turkey are intensively working to create a joint mutual investment fund. He stated that during the work of the Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, an agreement has been reached on creating a joint investment fund.
"At present, negotiations on the creation of an investment fund are underway between the Azerbaijan Investment Company OJSC and the National Welfare Fund of Turkey," the minister said.
Jabbarov noted that the volume of Azerbaijan's investments in Turkey reaches $19 billion, while Turkey's investment in the Azerbaijani economy $13 billion.
Furthermore, he stated that Turkey is the leader in investment in Azerbaijan's non-oil sector of the economy.
"Currently, there are about 4,200 companies with Turkish capital operating in Azerbaijan, and the work of Turkish companies on 300 existing projects is estimated at $16.3 billion," he added.
Cooperation in restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated lands
The minister underlined that Azerbaijan is interested in cooperation with Turkey in all spheres, including those in the implementation of the "Great Return" strategy.
He stated that Azerbaijan gives priority to Turkey within the work on the reconstruction of liberated territories.
"It is gratifying that the Turkish businessmen are interested in participating in these processes and are sending many proposals in this regard," he added.
Moreover, Jabbarov emphasized that several Turkish companies have already been involved in the process of creating the necessary infrastructure in these territories, noting that the active cooperation with Turkey in this sphere will continue.
Cooperation at international organizations
Likewise, the minister noted that both counties also actively cooperate within the framework of international organizations.
It was noted that sincere friendly and fraternal relations between the heads of states and the great importance given to expanding partnership contribute to the further development of bilateral ties.
Moreover, the minister stated that the 9th meeting of the Azerbaijan-Turkey intergovernmental commission held in Turkey in February this year was a favourable platform for the development of cooperation.
He underlined that measures taken to expand multifaceted cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey would contribute to the implementation of new joint projects and the development of trade and economic relations.
In turn, the Turkish trade minister spoke about the prospects for expanding Azerbaijani-Turkish economic ties, noting that Turkish companies are interested in participating in the reconstruction of Azerbaijan's liberated territories.
Moreover, the participants of the meeting discussed the expansion of relations between the countries in the spheres of transit-logistics, customs, trade and other spheres. In addition, they shared their views on the development of economic relations in accordance with the new realities created by the liberation of Azerbaijan's territories.
Transport, Communications and High Technologies Minister Rashad Nabiyev, State Customs Committee Chairman Safar Mehdiyev, Nakhchivan's Economy Minister Tapdig Aliyev attended the meeting.
The parties discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the countries' economy and stressed the importance of mutual support in combating the coronavirus. Additionally, the parties discussed strengthening economic ties between the two countries, expanding the scope of the Preferential Trade Agreement between the countries, increasing the volume of mutual trade and the range of products, and other issues of interest.
Memorandum of understanding on digital trade
Additionally, Economy Minister wrote on his official Twitter page that the memorandum of understanding on digital trade was signed between the countries on April 2.
"The memorandum of understanding on digital trade signed today between Azerbaijan and Turkey will contribute to bringing trade relations to a new level, stimulating the trade of goods and services through the use of new technologies, as well as to the development of digitalization in our countries, Jabbarov wrote.
Azerbaijan and Turkey cooperate in various fields of economy. Eleven agreements were signed between the two countries within the Azerbaijani-Turkish business forum held in Ankara on February 18. The agreements envisage the development of Azerbaijani-Turkish cooperation in the economic, trade and other spheres. Moreover, Turkey was one of the first countries that expressed its interest and readiness to participate in the restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated territories.
Turkey was Azerbaijan's second-largest trading partner in 2020, with a trade turnover of $4.1 billion. The export from Azerbaijan to Turkey amounted to $2.5 billion, while the import from Turkey amounted to $1.5 billion. In addition, the total turnover between the two countries amounted to $541.1 million with the export of $302.6 million and the import of $238.4 million in January-February 2021.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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