TODAY.AZ / Business

Azerbaijan calls on Arab Gulf States to develop economic ties [UPDATE]

20 October 2017 [15:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli 

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries invested about $1.3 billion in Azerbaijan's economy, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said at a joint business forum with representatives of the GCC member countries in Baku on October 20.

These investments mainly come from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the minister said.

“At the same time, Azerbaijan invested almost $300 million in the economies of the GCC countries,” he added.

Mustafayev noted that about 280 companies, chiefly from Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, operate in Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan is a country favorable for investments. First and foremost, thanks to political stability, security and understanding between the authorities and the people,” the minister said.

He added that at the same time, economic cooperation should be based on strong political ties.

“Azerbaijan pays a lot of attention to the development of political ties with the GCC countries. Our political relations are very strong, have great prospects and are based on friendships,” he said, adding the level of economic cooperation between the countries should also be raised as there is great potential that has not been fully used.

Mustafayev noted that although the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the GCC states has been growing in recent years, it is still at a low level – it amounted to more than $40 million in January-August 2017.

“This is a very low figure, given that the population of the GCC countries is about 40 million people and total GDP is about $1.36 trillion,” he added.

Speaking at the forum, Abdul Rahim Hassan Al Naqi, secretary general of the Federation of Chambers of the GCC proposed to create a joint investment fund

He noted that the fund can help strengthening the cooperation and stimulate the investment flow between countries.

Currently, Caspian International Investment Company (CIIC) operates in Azerbaijan that was co-founded by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD, a part of the Islamic Development Bank group).

The investment company, which has been operating since 2008, invests funds in the real sector of the economy on the basis of Islamic law principles (Shariah), with the exception of oil and gas production. Moreover, Azerbaijan and Qatar are currently working to create a joint investment fund.

Within the meeting, the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) has signed two memorandums on development of trade cooperation with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Federation of Chambers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was signed by AZPROMO President Rufat Mammadov and Federation’s Secretary General Abdul Rahim Hassan Al Naqi.

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Yanbu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Saudi Arabia) was signed by Rufat Mammadov and the Chamber’s Chairman Murad Ali Al-Aroui.

Moreover, during the business forum, a memorandum was signed between the standardization institute of Azerbaijan and the GCC Standardization Organization. The document was signed by the two organizations’ heads, Namig Tagiyev and Nabil Molla.

 Secretary General of the GCC told reporters that the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf are interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan in tourism, hotel business, agriculture and trade.

“We attach great importance to the development of relations with Azerbaijan in various areas. Our goal is to develop relations with your country in trade, investment, economy, agriculture and other areas,” said the secretary general, adding that for this purpose it is possible to prepare relevant programs.

According to him, Azerbaijan and the Arab countries have many opportunities to develop cooperation.

Al Zayani also stressed that Azerbaijan has been able to achieve great success thanks to its wise leadership.


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