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Minister: EU Azerbaijan’s leading trading, investment partner

09 November 2019 [10:05] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Ofeliya Afandiyeva

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister has said that the European Union is Azerbaijan’s number one trading and investment partner, in a speech where he also said that Baku seeks to become Eurasia’s logistic hub.

Mammadyarov made the speech during the High-Level Ministerial Seminar on “A New Political vision for Eastern Partnership held in Stockholm on November 5 in connection with the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.

“Azerbaijan is an investor-friendly country. It is not a coincidence that many EU businesses and investors choose Azerbaijan for that purpose. In fact, EU is our number-one trading and investment partner," the minister said while speaking about the country’s partnership with the EU.

The minister expressed his country’s ambition to become the logistics hub of Eurasia in the new era of partnership.

"Azerbaijan works on tariff unification with Central Asian countries to ensure increased trade through Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway connection. We appreciate EU’s statement of support to this regional backbone project and its perspective for future links with EU countries. It is not a surprise that several big logistics companies from Austria, Germany, Hungary and other EU countries are keen to participate with us in using this BTK railway to transport goods between Asia and Europe,” Mammadyarov said.

Mammadyarov recalled that in his recent visit to Azerbaijan, President Tusk acknowledged the impressive steps taken to transform Azerbaijan into a transport and logistics hub.The minister further recalled the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Report where Azerbaijan ranked 9th for starting business and 1st for access to credit/finance.

Mammadyarov also praised Azerbaijan’s role in the implementation of Europe’s energy policy

"Azerbaijan is often associated with oil and natural gas. I will try to bring a new element of the importance of our energy resources. First, because our natural gas is a much cleaner molecule of a fossil fuel than a pollutant coal. Second because our natural gas can serve as a perfect transition fuel for EU in its campaign to become more green, more energy-efficient. It is also about climate policy objectives. So, our gas pipeline to EU is a direct contributor to EU’s climate policy goals. See, it is both trade, connectivity (infrastructure), and environment issue,” Mammadyarov said.

The minister stressed the role of Eastern Partnership in strengthening relationship between Azerbaijan and EU in the past ten years.

“Azerbaijan expects EU to pursue multiple tracks of differentiation in order to realize its own distinguished and differentiated agenda with the EU. This is how we see the future process of EaP”, he noted. 

The European Commission and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs hosted a high-level seminar on the occasion of the EaP anniversary, with representatives from the partnership countries. This is an occasion to take stock and discuss the progress made, but even more importantly, to look ahead and highlight the next important steps in order to feed into the on-going consultation on the future of the Eastern Partnership.

H.E. Foreign Minister Ann Linde, H.E Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz and the six partnership countries Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia and the European Commission were participating in the discussions.


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