Czech Republic Interested In Getting Access To Azerbaijani Gas Minister (Interview)


(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 7. The Czech Republic is looking forward develop cooperation in the railroad sector with Azerbaijan, Jozef Sikela, Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, told trend in an exclusive interview.

"The construction of the Azerbaijani part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was a peak involvement of the Czech companies in this project. There were approximately 10 companies from the Czech Republic participating in the project. This was a substantial project volume-wise for our economies. And this is a good base for developing such projects in the future," he said.

As the minister pointed out, in general, the business volume between the two countries has increased significantly over recent years.

"There was a huge increase observed in exports from Azerbaijan to the Czech Republic – 145 percent. Czech exports to Azerbaijan, in turn, were slightly lower – increasing by around 50 percent," the minister noted.

According to the minister, the Czech Republic is also eager to conclude mid-term and long-term agreements with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) on the gas supply from Azerbaijan.

"Primarily, the Czech Republic is interested in getting access to Azerbaijani gas. Your country is already known in Europe as a reliable energy supplier. And, now, that we have managed to reduce our supplies from Russia down to zero within 10 months, we are rebuilding our supply chain. Here Azerbaijan can be of great contribution, considering the positive cooperation we have already had," he said.

Minister Sikela also noted that Azerbaijan has great potential in the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia. Here Czech companies can also highly contribute with their experience.

"During our talks with Azerbaijani officials we have agreed to hold the next steering committee meeting in Baku, and we plan to bring a big delegation of Czech businessmen with us to discuss future opportunities for cooperation," the minister added.

Further speaking, Minister Sikela noted that there are talks between the Azerbaijani side and one of the Czech producers of railway and metro trains to establish cooperation.

"There is a big interest from our side to supply trains for the new metro line in Baku," he added.

The Czech import from Azerbaijan consists of oil (nearly 25 percent of all oil import to the Czech Republic), cotton, dry fruits, and nuts. In the first quarter of this year, trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $293 million, of which $270.78 million (5.49 percent) fell on export to the Czech Republic, and $22.8 million - in imports (2.81 percent).

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