Investment from EU member states into the Azerbaijan economy currently exceeds 15 billion US dollars, it was revealed this week. According to the Azerbaijani Minister of Economy, Shahin Mustafayev, the majority of investment has been in the fields of energy, transport, and trade. More than 1500 companies registered in EU member states currently operate in Azerbaijan.
Mr Mustafayev was speaking during the 15th meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, and he added that an essential part of EU-Azerbaijan cooperation remains the energy sector, particularly since the commissioning of the Baku International Sea Trade Port in Alyat, which is set to open soon, facilitating new trade and expansion in the transport sector.
“The basis for success in attracting foreign investment, and modern technology, to the Azerbaijan oil and gas industry are legislative and arbitration procedures,” said Valeh Aleskerov, deputy chairman of the Milli Mejlis, the Azerbaijan parliament. According to Mr Aleskerov, a working group has already prepared a new Free Economic Zone project designed to boost investment further.
“Co-operation with the EU is one of the priorities for Azerbaijan. This has been on our country’s agenda since independence,” added Mahmud Mammadguliyev, Azerbaijan’s deputy foreign minister. According to him, negotiations with the EU have developed in a number of directions and include not only economic and energy cooperation but partnerships in the field of travel, visa facilitation and mobility.
During the meeting, all participants spoke of the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which opened last year and which expanded the Azerbaijan’s transport capacity. Azerbaijan is also an initiator and participant in the Southern Gas Corridor and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan projects, both of which play an essential role in ensuring Europe’s energy security.