( MENAFN - Mid-East.Info
H.)E. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, received H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, and the accompanying delegation in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. The UAE delegation's visit to Azerbaijan, led by H.E. Bin Touq, was aimed at finalizing new plans for joint action during the next phase in order to increase trade exchanges and investment flows between the two countries, thereby bolstering strategic economic partnerships.
During the visit, meetings were held between H.E. Bin Touq with and H.E. Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan; Mikael Jabarov, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy; Rashad Nabiyev, Azerbaijani Minister of Transport, Communications and Advanced Technology; and representatives of Azerbaijai business sector.
President Aliyev expressed his satisfaction with the existing state of relations between the two countries, and his desire to strengthen the ties of economic cooperation with the UAE. He called for the deepening of the strategic partnerships over the next 10 years through the creation of new investment opportunities by focusing on several vital sectors such as infrastructure, logistical transport investments of renewable energy and tourism.
During the meeting, H.E. Bin Touq said: “Azerbaijan is a friendly country, a major economic partner of the UAE in the region, and a popular destination for UAE citizens to travel, tourism, study, and engage in commercial activities and investments. The UAE government is keen to continue working closely with our Azerbaijani partners to develop cooperation in various sectors that hold promising opportunities for the future.''
During another meeting, H.E. Bin Touq discussed ways to develop relations between the UAE and Azerbaijan with H.E Ali Asadov, and explored the prospects for supporting and developing them through the optimal use of the promising potentials and opportunities available to both sides, within the framework of fruitful cooperation in various fields, especially new and emerging sectors.
H.E. Asadov said: “We see promising opportunities to strengthen the partnership with the UAE at both governmental and private levels, by making the best use of the promising potentials and opportunities available on both sides. This is within the framework of fruitful cooperation in various vital areas of common interest, especially the Fourth Industrial Revolution and artificial intelligence, e-commerce and food security. We will work to elevate effective partnerships between the two countries to a new level of excellence to serve both countries'' development aspirations.”
In turn, H.E Bin Touq said: “The relations between the UAE and Azerbaijan are witnessing rapid progress in various fields, especially on the economic and commercial front. This provides a solid ground for enhancing joint action between the UAE and the Azerbaijani governments to further raise levels of cooperation and economic integration.''
Furthermore, the two sides praised the existing cooperation between the two countries on various issues of common interest bilaterally, regionally and internationally, and the continuous coordination between the two friendly countries on economic developments and through their joint membership in many international organizations. These include the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Alignment Movement and others, which enhances the role of the two countries and their contributions to peace, security and development in the region and the world.
During H.E. Bin Touq's meeting with H.E. Mikhail Jabarov, the two sides agreed to adopt joint practical steps to facilitate and increase the movement of trade exchange, create new investment opportunities for the private sector in both countries. In addition, companies will be encouraged to explore new horizons for partnership and take advantage of promising opportunities in each other's markets.
H.E. Jabarov appreciated Bin Touq's response to the invitation to visit Azerbaijan to set future plans to increase investments between the two friendly countries. He highlighted the importance of Azerbaijan’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and the success of its activities related to this so far.
In addition, H.E. Bin Touq reviewed the most prominent efforts implemented by the UAE to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and accelerate economic recovery. This is being achieved through the implementation of an integrated plan and flexible initiatives designed to support activities and businesses in various sectors; drive digital transformation; and encourage investments in the sectors of innovation, knowledge, technology and the new economy, to establish a new, more diversified, more flexible and sustainable economic model. In this regard, the two ministers approved mechanisms to transfer knowledge and share best practices in accelerating the economic recovery process and exploring new opportunities and sectors in the post-Covid-19 era.
The two ministers of UAE and Azerbaijan agreed to hold the 8th session of the Joint Economic Committee in the UAE, coinciding with Expo 2020 Dubai, and set the outlines for an expanded program for the next JEC. It focuses on vital traditional sectors as well as new economy sectors, such as trade, investment, tourism, industry, space, innovation, renewable energy, digital transformation modern agriculture, smart transport and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The total volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Azerbaijan during the first nine months of 2020 amounted to more than AED 1.2 billion (USD 323 million). The UAE is Azerbaijan’s largest trading partner in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as it accounts for 76% of Azerbaijan’s trade with the GCC countries. The two countries also have active relations in the field of tourism, as the UAE ranks sixth in the world in terms of the number of tourists who visited Azerbaijan, according to data for 2019, which numbered more than 70,000 tourists.
In the field of investments, the value of Emirati investments in Azerbaijan in 2019 amounted to USD 2.2 billion through projects in the sectors of energy, transportation, metal industries, technological solutions, food industry, logistics and others. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has invested more than USD 350 million in the UAE markets across multiple sectors, most notably real estate, wholesale and retail trade, and scientific and technical activities.
During the meeting between H.E. Bin Touq with H.E. Rashad Nabiyev, the two sides underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation in the sectors of communication, modern technology, innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and space, which is a major driver to building the future economy. The two sides agreed to include these sectors as priority areas on the agenda of the upcoming JEC. Furthermore, the two ministers approved a plan of action to increase air connectivity, transport passengers and freight movements between the cities of the two countries. Ways to enhance cooperation and investments in the logistics sector in a manner that serves the commercial, investment and tourism activities of both sides were also discussed.
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