Poland is to open a trade representation in Azerbaijan, part of the Polish Trade and Investment Agency. Jacek Krzysztof Czaputowicz, the Polish foreign minister, said that Azerbaijan is an essential economic and business partner for Poland in the South Caucasus region.
According to Mr Czaputowicz, the Polish Ministry of Economic Development identified Azerbaijan in 2017 as one of the most promising markets in the world for Polish companies. The minister also stated that Poland is the sixth largest market in the European Union with a rapidly growing economy, which had around 5 per cent GDP growth in 2017, with growth of around 4 per cent forecast for 2018.
Mr Czaputowicz also believes that bilateral cooperation needs to improve in order to see trade reach its full potential. He pointed out that compared to 2014-15, when bilateral trade between the two countries topped 120 million euros per year, in 2017, it was back down to around 75 million euros. As such, the primary goal of opening the trade representation in Baku is to encourage and help trade, investment and business cooperation between the two countries get back to where it once was, and then grow.
“This is part of a roadmap towards a strategic partnership and economic cooperation between Poland and Azerbaijan,” said Mr Czaputowicz. “This is the foundation for the multidimensional development of our relationship. As to the economy, we want to focus on developing cooperation in areas such as agriculture, transport, chemistry, IT, shipbuilding, tourism and consumer electronics.”
One of the reasons for the slowdown in trade between Azerbaijan and Poland has been the general economic downturn in the South Caucasus region, caused by low oil prices. This has been reflected not only in the levels of Azerbaijan’s trade with Poland, but with other EU markets too.