TODAY.AZ / Politics

Switzerland eyes to develop comprehensive co-op

03 July 2019 [14:23] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Leman Mammadova

Switzerland and Azerbaijan expect further strengthening of bilateral relations in the coming years.

Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs, received Muriel Peneveyre, the newly appointed Ambassador of Switzerland to Azerbaijan, on July 2.

During the meeting, Mammadyarov praised the current state of bilateral relations, stressing the importance of regular dialogue and political meetings, as well as continuation of mutually beneficial cooperation.

He said that it is necessary to expand economic cooperation, noting that the meeting of the intergovernmental commission held last week is an important event in this direction.

Muriel Peneveyre, in turn, emphasized Switzerland’s interest in comprehensive cooperation with Azerbaijan, and said that she will make all efforts to further develop bilateral relations.

During the meeting, the important role of high-level reciprocal visits in the development of bilateral relations was highlighted.

Then, Peneveyre presented a copy of her credentials to Mammadyarov. He, in turn, wished to Peneveyre success in her diplomatic activities.

Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Azerbaijan were established on 21 January 1992. Relations between two states are characterized by open dialogue and are based on several key areas including energy policy, cooperation in the international financial institutions and development cooperation.

As mentioned in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy South Caucasus 2017–2020, Swiss assistance to Azerbaijan aims to create a conducive and risk-conscious business environment that will lead to the improvement and diversification of the country’s income base.

Switzerland is one of the largest investors in the non-oil sectors of Azerbaijan's economy. In the period of 1992-2018, Switzerland invested about $851.9 million in Azerbaijan’s economy. Last year, trade turnover between the two countries increased 2.7 times compared to 2017 ($240 million) and reached almost $650 million.

Switzerland supports large-scale energy and transport projects implemented in the region by Azerbaijan. The Swiss company AXPO is involved in the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which envisages delivering Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR successfully operates in Switzerland. Since 2012, SOCAR has been operating ESSO Switzerland's 172 petrol stations under its brand.

Currently, about 70 Swiss companies operate in service sector, trade, construction, industry, transport, banking and insurance in Azerbaijan.

Recently, the 8th meeting of the Azerbaijani-Swiss intergovernmental commission and Azerbaijani-Swiss business forum has been held in Switzerland.

As a part of visit to Switzerland, Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Swiss Thurgau canton.

At the same time, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Agency for Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) of Azerbaijan and the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises on cooperation issues at the meeting of intergovernmental commission.


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