Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az Envoy: Turkmenistan - one of Ukraine’s most important trade partners in Central Asia World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 18:02:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkmenistan is one of Ukraine’s most important trade partners in the Central Asian region, Trend reports with reference to Ukrainian Ambassador Valentyn Shevalov, whose article was published by the newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan.The article is dedicated to the 28th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine. Trade and economic relations between Ukraine and Turkmenistan indicate great potential and development prospects, said the diplomat who is completing his mission in Ashgabat.He noted that Ukrainian companies constructing large-scale infrastructure facilities are successfully operating in Turkmenistan.In addition, students from Turkmenistan hold one of the leading positions in the number of foreign citizens studying at Ukrainian universities.Ukrainian business entities are involved in the construction of large-scale infrastructure facilities of national importance in Turkmenistan including complex engineering communications as well as oil and gas, industrial and transport facilities.The main export items to Turkmenistan include railway cars, products of the agro-industrial complex, electrical machinery, chemical, pharmaceutical and woodworking industries. Imports from Turkmenistan to Ukraine mainly consist of oil refining products, wool, cotton and textiles. Jubilee coin dedicated to Azerbaijani poet Nasimi's anniversary issued in Turkey Politics Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:42:00 +0400 By  TrendA 2.5 lira bronze coin dedicated to 650th anniversary of Azerbaijani poet Imadaddin Nasimi was issued in Turkey, Trend reports on Aug. 24 referring to the Turkish media.As reported, the image of the poet has been engraved on the front side of the coin, while the inscription "Turkiye Cumhuriyeti (Turkish Republic) 2.5 Lira" - on the back side.To commemorate the 650th anniversary of the great Azerbaijani poet Imadaddin Nasimi, 2019 has been declared in Azerbaijan as the Year of Nasimi. Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market Business Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:21:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the Azerbaijani manat against the US dollar set by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) remained unchanged last week, Trend reports.Accordingly, last week, the average rate was 1.7 AZN/USD.Official AZN/USD exchange rateAugust 12-August 191.7August 13-August 201.7August 141.7August 211.7August 151.7August 221.7August 161.7August 231.7Average weekly1.7Average weekly1.7Last week, the official exchange rate of manat against euro set by CBA increased by 0.004 manats or 0.2 percent.Accordingly, the average AZN/EUR rate was 1.8843 manats.Official AZN/EUR exchange rateAugust 12-August 191.8856August 13-August 201.8846August 141.8992August 211.8859August 151.8958August 221.8840August 161.8876August 231.8816Average weekly1.8942Average weekly1.8843The official exchange rate of manat to Russian ruble set by CBA decreased by 0.0001 manats or 0.4 percent.Accordingly, the average AZN/RUB rate was 0.0257 manats.Official AZN/RUB exchange rateAugust 12-August 190.0256August 13-August 200.0254August 140.0262August 210.0256August 150.0258August 220.0258August 160.0257August 230.0259Average weekly0.0259Average weekly0.0257The official exchange rate of manat to Turkish lira set by CBA increased by 0.0099 manats or 2 percent.Accordingly, the average AZN/TRY rate was 0.2986 manats.Official AZN/TRY exchange rateAugust 12-August 190.3045August 13-August 200.3010August 140.3047August 210.2965August 150.3044August 220.2966August 160.3056August 230.2946Average weekly0.3049Average weekly0.2986In connection with the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, the manat exchange rate against world currencies wasn’t formed on August 12-13. Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:14:00 +0400 By  TrendLast week, the price of one ounce of gold decreased by 24.04 manats or 0.9 percent in Azerbaijan, Trend reports.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of gold stood at 2,550.8636 manats.Change in price of one ounce of goldAug. 12-Aug. 192,565.4615Aug. 13-Aug. 202,541.9250Aug. 142,546.2940Aug. 212,555.3890Aug. 152,585.6065Aug. 222,550.1190Aug. 162,587.3235Aug. 232,541.4235Average weekly2,573.0747Average weekly2,550.8636Last week, the price of one ounce of silver decreased by 0.0681 manats or 0.2 percent in Azerbaijan.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of silver stood at 28.9183 manats.Change in price of one ounce of silverAug. 12-Aug. 1928.9588Aug. 13-Aug. 2028.7414Aug. 1428.7691Aug. 2129.0062Aug. 1529.4591Aug. 2228.9948Aug. 1629.3038Aug. 2328.8907Average weekly29.1772Average weekly28.9183Last week, the price of one ounce of platinum increased by 15.8185 manats or 1.1 percent in Azerbaijan.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of platinum stood at 1,446.7476 manats.Change in price of one ounce of platinumAug. 12-Aug. 191,444.2010Aug. 13-Aug. 201,448.6975Aug. 141,447.1250Aug. 211,438.6930Aug. 151,438.8545Aug. 221,442.1270Aug. 161,424.5405Aug. 231,460.0195Average weekly1,436.84Average weekly1,446.7476Last week, the price of one ounce of palladium increased by 51.56 manats or 2.04 percent in Azerbaijan.Accordingly, the average price of one ounce of palladium stood at 2,504.6389 manats.Change in price of one ounce of palladiumAug. 12-Aug. 192,471.2390Aug. 13-Aug. 202,511.7500Aug. 142,462.1695Aug. 212,524.4405Aug. 152,440.8600Aug. 222,492.9650Aug. 162,465.5780Aug. 232,522.8000Average weekly2,456.2025Average weekly2,504.6389Precious metals prices were not set on August 12-13 due to the Eid al-Adha holiday. Enraged Trump likens Fed chief to 'enemy' China World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 17:03:00 +0400 By  Trend“As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can ‘speak’ without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work ‘brilliantly’ with both, and the U.S. will do great.”, reports Trend referring to Reuters.“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?”It was unclear what Trump meant when he said he would work “brilliantly” with both, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump has repeatedly accused the Fed of keeping monetary policy too tight, which he says has boosted the value of the dollar and undercut economic growth.The president said in a subsequent Twitter post that he would respond later on Friday to China’s announcement on Friday that it would impose additional tariffs on U.S. products, the latest salvo in the U.S.-China trade war.Trump has been pressuring the Fed to lower interest rates aggressively, arguing that the dollar’s strength is undermining the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.With some signs of growing recession risks in the United States, Trump administration officials have discussed actions to prevent a downturn before the November 2020 presidential election, according to media reports.Those have included the imposition of a currency transaction tax to weaken the dollar and a rotation of Fed governors to try to undercut Powell’s influence, the Washington Post reported, moves that would likely require congressional action.Powell, in a speech earlier on Friday, stopped short of committing to further rate cuts. He characterized the U.S. economy as in a “favorable place” but facing “significant” risks, especially from what Fed officials have described as the harmful effects of the White House’s trade war with China.Before Powell spoke, a senior Trump adviser urged the Fed chief to lower rates. “America, we have your back. That’s all he has to say,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview with Fox Business Network. Date of Turkmen president’s visit to Singapore disclosed World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:48:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s state visit to Singapore is scheduled for August 26-27, Trendreports referring to the Turkmen government.A package of intergovernmental documents is planned to be signed following the high-level talks.During the governmental meeting, President Berdimuhamedov stressed great potential available for the development of mutually beneficial bilateral partnership in the trade, economic, energy, transport, communication, industrial and other sectors, as well as through business structures, Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary state news agency said.Taking into account the policy being carried out towards innovative development and industrialization of the national economy, the introduction of advanced high technologies, and an increase in investment activity, great opportunities are opening up for establishing productive ties with the Republic of Singapore.The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on September 12, 1996. The Turkmen ambassador to Korea was also appointed ambassador to Singapore in 2016.The Singapore-based company Yug-Neftegaz operates in the Turkmen oil and gas market.Olam International Ltd, headquartered in Singapore, has recently held one of the leading positions in the procurement volumes of Turkmen cotton.Earlier it was reported that Singapore offer Turkmenistan is its services in staff training in the field of civil aviation and maritime transport. Turkmenistan also plans to launch flights with Singapore. Agreement between Uzbekistan, UAE on visa exemption entered into force World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:27:00 +0400 By  TrendThe protocol on cooperation between the Government of Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates on the mutual exemption of holders of diplomatic passports from visa requirements entered into force on August 23, 2019, Trend reports with reference to Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan.The document was signed on March 25, 2019 in Abu Dhabi during the official visit of the president of Uzbekistan to the UAE.It regulates the granting citizens of Uzbekistan and the UAE, who are holders of diplomatic passports, the right to enter, leave, follow transit and stay in the territory of the state of the other side without issuing visas for up to 90 days.Given the intensification of bilateral cooperation with the UAE, the protocol contributes to the prompt resolution of organizational issues during visits of official representatives of the two countries who have diplomatic passports, the ministry said. Iran to submit working paper to ICAO against US sanctions World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:14:00 +0400 By  TrendIran prepares to submit working papers to General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) against the US sanctions, said director general of Civil Aviation Organization of Iran."Iran Airports, Air Navigation Company and some other entities have submitted working papers to the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, and after having reviewed them, we agreed to submit them for the discussion at the ICAO's upcoming meeting," said Mohammad Saeed Sharafi, Trend reports citing Mehr News Agency.The official has emphasized that there are at least three working papers that will be presented in connection with the US sanctions." One document submitted by Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company reviews the effects of US sanctions on aviation safety and navigation in the Middle East," he said."Another working paper was prepared following the ICAO meeting in Cairo in April 2019. It highlights the fact that the US sanctions against Iran is in the field of navigation not only put to risk Iran's flights safety, but also effect the region and beyond as well as the global air navigation plan," he added."The working papers to be submitted to ICAO, shall be reviewed by the organization. In case ICAO approves them and makes a relevant decision, they will turn into international legal documents," he said.ICAO's next meeting is to be held in Montreal, Canada, on September 18-20, 2019. EBRD to support climate-resilient rehabilitation of Tajik hydropower plant World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 15:51:00 +0400 By  TrendA ceremony to mark the start of work was held today at Tajikistan’s Qairokkum hydropower plant (QHPP), the $196 million financing package of which was organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to complete the climate-resilient rehabilitation of QHPP to help Tajikistan improve its electricity supply, Trend reports with reference to the press office EBRD.The work is the culmination of an investment program that began in 2014, with financing provided by the EBRD, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Climate Investment Funds’ Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, Austria and the United Kingdom. The government of Austria is also funding technical cooperation support.The financing, comprising a $88 million EBRD loan, a $37 million EIB loan, a $50 million GCF loan and grant and a $21 million Climate Investment Funds loan and grant to the state-owned power utility Barki Tojik, will fund the rehabilitation and modernization of QHPP, a 60-year-old hydropower plant that provides electricity to 500,000 people. Measures will include concrete dam works and the installation of hydraulic steel components, turbines and electromechanical equipment for the six hydropower units.The full rehabilitation will increase the plant’s installed capacity from 126 MW to 174 MW. The upgrade will introduce innovative climate resilience measures, enabling the plant to cope with the expected impact of climate change on the country’s hydrological systems.It will also build the capacity of the Tajik hydropower operator to anticipate, assess and manage climate-related risks by introducing best international practices from countries such as Canada.Tajikistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Its glacial hydrology and, by extension, its hydropower sector, are highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change and the project offers a model of how carefully designed investments can make hydropower more resilient. This model can be replicated across the country and the region.To date, the EBRD has invested nearly $740 million in various sectors of Tajikistan’s economy. The EBRD is also supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change. Iranian currency rates for Aug. 24 World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 15:37:00 +0400 By  TrendThe rates of 16 foreign currencies have increased in Iran, while the rates of 18 other currencies have decreased, according to the official state exchange rate of Iran, Trendreports referring to the website of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).According to CBI, $1 equals to 42,000 Iranian rials and 1 euro equals to 46,868 rials.Foreign currenciesIranian rial1 US dollarUSD42,0001 British poundGBP51,5781 Swiss francCHF43,0971 Swedish kronaSEK4,3761 Norwegian kroneNOK4,6871 Danish kroneDKK6,2771 Indian rupeeINR5861 UAE dirhamAED11,4371 Kuwaiti dinarKWD138,055100 Pakistani rupeesPKR26,394100 Japanese yensJPY39,8481 Hong Kong dollarHKD5,3561 Omani rialOMR109,2321 Canadian dollarCAD31,5431 New Zealand dollarNZD26,8951 South African randZAR2,7551 Turkish liraTRY7,2931 Russian rubleRUB6371 Qatari riyalQAR11,539100 Iraq dinarsIQD3,5291 Syrian poundSYP821 Australian dollarAUD28,3651 Saudi riyalSAR11,2001 Bahraini dinarBHD111,7031 Singapore dollarSGD30,280100 Bangladeshi takasBDT49,77410 Sri Lankan rupeesLKR2,3331 Myanmar kyatMMK28100 Nepalese rupeesNPR36,4091 Libyan dinarLYD29,8171 Chinese yuanCNY5,9201 Malaysian ringgitTHB138,034100 Thai bahtsMYR10,0211,000 South Korean wonsKRW34,6151 Jordanian dinarJOD59,2391 euroEUR46,868100 Kazakh tengesKZT10,8781 Georgian lariGEL14,3361,000 Indonesian rupiahsIDR2,9441 Afghan afghaniAFN5351 Belarus rubleBYN20,4881 Azerbaijani manatAZN24,706100 Philippine pesosPHP80,0561 Tajik somoniTJS4,3371 Venezuelan bolivarVEF4,2061 New Turkmen manatTMT12,000In Iran, the official exchange rate is used for the import of some essential products.The SANA system is a system introduced by the Central Bank of Iran to the currency exchange offices, where the price of 1 euro is 130,347 rials, and the price of $1 is 116,117 rials.NIMA is a system intended for the sale of a certain percentage of the foreign currency gained from export. The price of 1 euro in this system is 126,863 rials, and the price of $1 is 113,009 rials.In the black market, $1 is worth about 115,000 - 118,000 rials, while 1 euro is worth about 130,000 - 133,000 rials. Study: Hotels in Israel enjoying record demand, increased revenues World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 15:16:00 +0400 By  TrendHotels in Israel enjoyed another record year in 2018, driven by unprecedented incoming tourism and increased geo-political stability, according to a new report by hospitality consulting firm HVS, reports Trend citing to Reuters.Revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the country increased by 6% in 2018, driven by an increase in average hotel rates across all major destinations. Eilat and Dead Sea hotels, the report stated, witnessed a "slight reduction" in occupancy levels last year."Thanks to the continued lull in the turbulence of the geo-political situation in the area, the Israeli tourism industry is flourishing with an ever-growing number of tourists visiting the country," said report authors Lionel Schauder and Russell Kett. "However, it is important to remember that the 'sword of Damocles' remains suspended and that any incidents may halt this positive development."More than 4.1 million tourists visited Israel in 2018, an increase of 14% from 2017 and 42% from 2016, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Direct revenues from tourism exceeded NIS 24 billion ($6.83b.).Total demand growth for hotel rooms has outpaced supply growth in recent years, with demand increasing over the last three years by 6.7% year-on-year and rooms supply growing by 2.9%. Additional accommodation is needed, the report stated, especially at the budget end of the spectrum.Hotels in Jerusalem recorded an increase of 10% in demand in 2018, driven primarily by the international market which represented 80% of total hotel stays in the city. Additional rooms in the hotel pipeline stand at approximately 16% of Jerusalem's current room supply. Several major brands are set to open hotels in the city over the next few years, including InterContinental, Isrotel and Fattal.In Tel Aviv, the number of bednights increased by 7.2% in 2018, also driven by the international market which grew by more than 7.5% and represented approximately three-quarters of total demand. Although a number of projects remain speculative, the pipeline stands at approximately 56% of current room supply, including the entrance of luxury brands Kempinski and Nobu into the growing market.Marketwide occupancy decreased slightly in Eilat in 2018, although the opening of the nearby Ramon Airport earlier this year is expected to increase foreign demand in the coming years. While hotel supply has not changed over the last six years, a decision by the Government Housing Cabinet in recent weeks will enable the construction of over 1,200 hotel rooms in the area. Current room supply is expected to increase by approximately 8%.Demand in Haifa remained broadly static in 2018 at approximately 582,000, but the report states that the city is "consolidating its international attractiveness" with the share of international bedsights at 48%, well above historical levels of around 41-42%. Room supply has remained broadly static in recent years, but a number of large properties are rumored to be entering the market, potentially boosting current room supply by 30%.The Dead Sea was the only market reviewed to record a negative compound annual growth rate in bednights between 2014 and 2018. A total of 8% of all bednights in Israel were spent in the area, however, demonstrating its ongoing popularity as a destination, primarily for domestic visitors. International market share increased from 19% in 2015 to 26% in 2018, the report stated. The pipeline of additional rooms at the Dead Sea stands at approximately 11% of its current supply, although the Dead Sea Valley Project could add some 3,000-5,000 rooms in Ein Bokek."The pipeline across the country has never been so strong with a number of international operators looking to enter or strengthen their presence in Israel," said Schauder and Kett. "In addition, the development of more affordable hotels is finally on the way - WOM Allenby (Brown Hotels is the first pod-style hotel in Tel Aviv."The report also highlights a series of initiatives launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Tourism to boost hotel investment and make the country a more affordable destination. Measures including recognizing hotels as part of the national infrastructure, a centralized application process for permits handled by the National Infrastructure Committee, a government grant scheme to support developers, and enabling district committees to grant additional residential rights to hotel developers - thereby improving the attractiveness of the investment."Although the recent Eurovision contest did not generate a significant RevPAR uplift (as it tends to do), results from the first half of 2019 indicate that once again the country could break a new arrivals record," said the authors. "If the positive trend is set to continue, the next main challenge awaiting hoteliers will be to attract returning visitors, and to do so the overall service level is likely to require some significant improvements in order to meet guests' expectations."Building on two consecutive record-breaking years of incoming tourism, 2.587 million tourists entered Israel between January and July 2019, compared to 2.356 million during the same period in 2018.Almost half (49%) of all tourists arrived in Israel from the United States (580,000 tourists), France (207,000), Russia (174,000), Germany (165,000) and the United Kingdom (132,000). Azerbaijani ministry refutes information about transportation of Israeli drones to Azerbaijan ... Politics Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:53:00 +0400 By  TrendThe information circulated in some foreign media outlets that the US transports Israeli drones to Azerbaijan to attack Iraq and Iran is completely unfounded and false, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend.“This is misinformation,” the ministry added.A number of foreign media outlets distributed the information with the headline "US is transporting Israeli drones to Azerbaijan to attack Iraq".According to their information, commander of the Iraqi group Hashd al-Shaabi (popular mobilization forces) Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes accused the US of transporting the Israeli drones to Azerbaijan to attack Iraq and Iran. Trump says U.S. has really good relationship with North Korea World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:37:00 +0400 By  TrendU.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States has a really good relationship with North Korea and that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has been “pretty straight” with him, Trend reports citing Reuters.“Kim Jong Un has been ... pretty straight with me,” Trump told reporters at the White House after North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast, according to the South Korean military. Belarusian OneSoil talks implementation of project in Uzbekistan World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:15:00 +0400 By  TrendBelarus Agro-Technical Startup OneSoil has agreed on a pilot project in Uzbekistan, a OneSoil representative told Trend in an interview.In accordance with the project, OneSoil will launch fields and crops monitoring in some regions of Uzbekistan.OneSoil is an agrotechnical start-up from Belarus, which creates applications and an online platform for precision farming. The company's products are based on machine learning algorithms and satellite imagery analysis Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, which are in the public domain.Recently it was reported that the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, Boston Consulting Group and OneSoil signed an agreement on the use of satellite data in agriculture sector ofUzbekistan."OneSoil was approached by employees of the Boston Consulting Group, who represented the interests of the government of Uzbekistan. OneSoil agreed with them on a pilot project in Uzbekistan," the representative said.The source noted that the project will allow the government of Uzbekistan to get a more complete picture of the state of agriculture and to find out accurate statistical information about the size of farms and types of crops.OneSoil applications already work in 137 countries of the world, the team plans to release worldwide by the end of the year.The startup has developed the OneSoil Scouting application. The application allows to remotely monitor the state of the fields, as well as do text and photo notes for problem areas of the field.Moreover, The OneSoil web platform was developed as well. It allows remotely monitoring the status of fields, leaving notes and creating maps and task files for the differential application of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.Last year, the startup team released an interactive OneSoil Map. It visualizes data on 60 million fields and 27 cultures in 43 countries of Europe and the US. it is possible to find out the size and number of fields in different countries, the rating of agricultural crops, track the development of a specific field field and the relative yield over the past three years using OneSoil Map Japan, U.S. reach framework trade pact, no U.S. concessions seen - Nikkei World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:52:00 +0400 By  TrendThe United States and Japan have reached the broad framework of a trade agreement, Japan’s Nikkei business daily said on Saturday, with Tokyo making concessions on its agriculture but none immediately apparent from Washington on automobiles, Trend reports citing Reuters.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi reached the deal in Washington on Friday, with Tokyo cutting tariffs on U.S. beef but Washington maintaining tariffs on Japanese autos, Nikkei said.The newspaper did not cite any sources for its information.The results of the Lighthizer-Motegi talks will be announced at a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expected on Sunday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, the Nikkei said.The report came shortly after Motegi told reporters in Washington that he and Lighthizer had made “big progress”.Motegi said the three-day talks that ended on Friday would probably be the last ministerial-level discussions and working-level officials would continue to hammer out on details.Japan will cut its tariffs on U.S. beef and pork to the levels applied to members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Nikkei said. Trump pulled America out of the TPP, which had been championed by his predecessor, Barack Obama.The United States will not cut the 2.5% tariff it applies on Japanese autos for now but separate talks on those would continue, the Nikkei reported. It said Washington was “moving in the direction” of scrapping tariffs on some of the 400 types of Japanese car parts that Tokyo is seeking.Trump and Abe may sign the pact in late September if they can reach a final deal, the Nikkei said. They were expected to meet then on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Oil prices slide as U.S.-China trade war escalates World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:25:00 +0400 By  TrendOil prices fell on Friday after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods including crude oil, another escalation of a protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies, Trend reports citing Reuters.Brent crude futures fell 58 cents, or 1%, to settle at $59.34 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.18, or 2.1%, to settle at $54.17 a barrel.WTI lost 1.3% for the week, while Brent rose 1.2% during the week.China’s commerce ministry said it would impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States, including crude oil, agricultural products such as soybeans, and small aircraft. Trump announces new tariff increase on Chinese goods amid ongoing US-China row World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:06:00 +0400 By  TrendIn the wake of a disastrous fall in stocks following economic news, US President Donald Trump announced Friday evening that tariffs on Chinese imports would be stiffened even more, Trend reports citing Sputnik.Trump made the announcement Friday evening via Twitter, about an hour after the New York Stock Exchange closed for the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had already collapsed 623 points by the closing bell/"For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more," Trump tweeted. "Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight. Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer.""As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair Trading Relationship. China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!). Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%. Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%.""Thank you for your attention to this matter!"? the president wrote. Trump orders U.S. firms out of China after Beijing sets new tariffs World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 12:44:00 +0400 By  TrendU.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he has ordered American companies to exit China after Beijing unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods, throwing a new twist into the bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies, Trend reports citing Reuters.Trump said on Twitter he will issue a response to China’s latest tariff plan on Friday afternoon. The president was meeting with his trade team at midday, a senior White House official told Reuters.“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP,” Trump tweeted.“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” Baku to host Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in 2022 for first time Sports Sat, 24 Aug 2019 12:22:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan’s capital Baku will host Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in 2022 for the first time, Trendreports citing the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).“When it comes to the Gymnastics calendar, Azerbaijan remains a venue of choice. After the 2019 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, the 2020 Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships and the 2021 Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships, Baku will host the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in 2022 for the first time, at the National Gymnastics Arena,” reads a message on FIG’s website.Reportedly, as a prelude, the city will welcome the World Age Group Competitions between 2 and 7 March. France's Macron to push for charter on biodiversity at G7 summit World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 11:58:00 +0400 By  TrendFrench President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he would put pressure on the United States to sign a charter on protecting biodiversity at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France this weekend, Trend reports citing Reuters.“We have talked about diversity. It is for the first time, at this G7, that we will sign a charter for biodiversity, we are committed to this, it will be signed by all,” he said in an interview with news website Konbini in the garden of his Elysee palace.Asked whether this would include the United States, Macron said: “That is the real question, we will see, I will put pressure.”“It will be signed by India, which is also very important,” he added.Macron said that climate, global warming and biodiversity would be at the heart of the G7 meeting but he also called on individual citizens to live and consume responsibly.“We are all co-responsible for this, in the choices we make when we buy clothing and food, in our everyday behaviour when it comes to sorting (and recycling). The G7 is one thing, but our daily life is just as important,” he said.In May, after meeting scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Macron said he would bring up the issue of biodiversity in talks within the G7.He said at the time that his government would seek to increase the size of natural areas under protection and take tax and budget measures to support biodiversity. He added that he also wants the European Union to encourage financing of sustainable crops as part of its common agriculture policy.IPBES - which groups 130 countries, including the United States, Russia and China - said in a report released in May that one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction due to humans’ relentless pursuit of economic growth. Turkey's Erdogan to visit Russia on Aug. 27: Turkish presidency World news Sat, 24 Aug 2019 11:40:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan will make a one-day official visit to Russia on August 27, the Turkish presidency said on Friday, hours after he held a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to discuss developments in northwestern Syria, Trend reports citing Reuters.In the phone call, Erdogan told Putin that an offensive by forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was causing a humanitarian crisis and posed a threat to Turkey’s national security. Azerbaijan to hold presentation on tourism sector in three countries Business Sat, 24 Aug 2019 11:15:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Azerbaijan State Tourism Agency is preparing a presentation on the development of Azerbaijan’s tourism sector in three countries, Kanan Guluzade, head of the PR department of the State Tourism Agency, told Trend on Aug. 21."The presentation will be held in Russia, China and India," he added. "The first presentation will take place in early September this year in three Russian cities, namely Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Moscow. Afterwards, a similar event will be held in three major Indian cities and in three Chinese cities. Currently, the State Tourism Agency is closely working on these projects.""The State Tourism Agency is also working on the development of a number of important documents, in particular, on the concept of attracting foreign investments in the Azerbaijani tourism sector," Guluzade added."This is the concept of attracting investments in agro-tourism to popularize this type of tourism among foreign guests," he said. "At the same time, the options for the development of ecotourism in Azerbaijan are being considered within the approved documents." Swiss companies to discuss hazelnut import prospects in Azerbaijan Business Sat, 24 Aug 2019 10:54:00 +0400 By  TrendRepresentatives of Swiss companies will visit Azerbaijan August 24-28, Trend reports with reference to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Switzerland.Swiss companies specializing in hazelnut imports will hold a series of meetings, according to the report.During the visit, Swiss companies will discuss with their Azerbaijani partners the possibility of importing hazelnuts into Switzerland from Azerbaijan. The delegation’s visit is supported by the embassy in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and the Association of Hazelnut Producers and Exporters of Azerbaijan.Switzerland, one of the leading manufacturers of chocolate, annually imports about 20,000 tons of hazelnuts mainly for the production of chocolate. On June 25-29 last year, as part of the export mission, representatives of 14 companies involved in the production of hazelnuts in Azerbaijan held a number of meetings in Switzerland with leading companies of this country.During the meetings, Swiss companies expressed interest in buying hazelnuts from Azerbaijan, and an agreement was also reached regarding the visit of representatives of Swiss companies to Azerbaijan and the organization of meetings with local hazelnut producers. Hazelnuts have been exported to Switzerland from Azerbaijan since 2018. Ilham Aliyev congratulates Ukrainian president Politics Sat, 24 Aug 2019 10:37:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sent a congratulatory letter to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.“On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you and all the people of your country on the occasion of the national day of Ukraine, Independence Day,” Ilham Aliyev said in his letter.“I believe that Azerbaijan-Ukraine relations, traditional ties of friendship between our countries, our bilateral and multilateral cooperation will continue developing and strengthening to the mutual benefit of our peoples. On this remarkable day, I wish you all the best and the friendly people of Ukraine peace and prosperity.” Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 19 times Politics Sat, 24 Aug 2019 10:16:00 +0400 By  TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 19 times, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Aug. 24, Trend reports.The Armenian armed forces were using large-caliber machine guns.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Kazakhstan, Germany to develop a roadmap for expansion of investment cooperation World news Fri, 23 Aug 2019 18:04:00 +0400 Trend:German investors commended Kazakhstan’s investment potential and agreed to develop a roadmap for expansion of Kazakhstan-Germany investment cooperation and create a list of joint strategic projects, Trend reports with reference to the press office of Kazakh Invest company.The discussion took place during the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov to Germany where he headed the Kazakhstan-German business roundtable.During the discussion, Deputy CEO of Kazakh Invest Rustam Issatayev elaborated on the investment opportunities for German companies in Kazakhstan, growth prospects and measures of state support for investment activities. He noted that intensive negotiations were being conducted with five companies expressing interest in implementing investment projects in Kazakhstan.In turn, speakers from the German side shared their experience of operating in Kazakhstan, emphasizing the advantages of an access to the nearby markets of the Eurasian Economic Union, China, the Middle East, Central Asia and wide opportunities for business expansion and investment. The German business showed particular interest in the country’s agribusiness - from livestock and food industries to agricultural machinery and production of flaxseed oil and mineral fertilizers.Chairman-Supervisory Board for CLAAS KGaA mbH, Deputy Chairman of the Board of German Eastern Business Association Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser noted the positive dynamics in the development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.“Today, Kazakhstan is the most important partner in Central Asia. With introduction of new functions of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our cooperation has been noticeably gaining new momentum. Today’s meeting with the Foreign Minister has clearly demonstrated this,” she said.Vice President of Deutsche Post International Jurgen Lohmeyer spoke about the positive trends in development of Kazakhstan’s transport and logistics potential. He noted that over the past five years, the volume of freight transportation through Kazakhstan from China to Europe and in the opposite direction had significantly increased.The parties agreed to develop a roadmap for enhancement of Kazakhstan-Germany investment cooperation and create a list of joint strategic projects.According to German statistics, the value of mutual trade between the countries reached $5.1 billion in 2018. Over the past 12 years, Kazakhstan has attracted $8.6 billion of direct investment from Germany. More than 900 joint ventures have been created with such major investors as Siemens, WILO, KNAUF, BASF, Metro Cash & Carry, OBI, CLAAS and Linde AG. Huawei says impact of U.S. trade restrictions less than feared World news Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:36:00 +0400 Trend:Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies said on Friday its business has been less impacted by U.S. trade restrictions than the company had initially feared and it is “fully prepared” to live and work with U.S. sanctions, reports Trend referring to Reuters.Huawei’s $100 billion business has been hit hard since mid-May after Washington put the world’s second-largest smartphone maker in a so-called Entity List that threatens to cut off its access to essential U.S. components and technology.In its first assessment of the impact of the ban, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said in June U.S. trade restrictions would hit revenue by $30 billion this year.“It seems it’s going to be a little less than that. But you have to wait till our results in March,” Eric Xu, Huawei’s deputy chairman, said at a news conference to introduce new artificial intelligence chips at its headquarters in Shenzhen.Washington said this week that it will extend by 90 days a reprieve that permits Huawei to buy from U.S. firms in order to supply existing customers, but it also moved to add more than 40 of Huawei’s units to its economic blacklist. Baku Transport Agency renewing road infrastructure [PHOTO] Society Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:03:00 +0400 Trend:The work is underway to renew the road signs and eliminate existing shortcomings on Baku’s streets and avenues, Trend reports on Aug. 23 referring to Baku Transport Agency.The purpose of these measures is to ensure the safe movement of vehicles and raise awareness of drivers and pedestrians.The corresponding measures were taken at the addresses indicated in the appeals sent by citizens and determined upon the analysis conducted by the agency’s specialists.More than 1,500 road signs were renewed in January-July 2019. As a result, the road traffic safety has greatly improved in various places of Baku, and, in particular, in the vicinity of the capital. Country's tourism potential to be presented in Russia, India Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 16:44:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaDue to the increasing interest of Russian and Indian tourists in Azerbaijan in recent years, Azerbaijan Tourism Board will strengthen ties with travel agencies operating in these two countries.Tourism Board will hold a series of events in several Russian and Indian cities this year. Azerbaijan’s tourism potential will be presented in the Russian cities of Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Kazan on August 27-29, in the Indian cities of Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai on September 9-13.The events to be held in Russia will bring together 10 travel companies from Azerbaijan, including three hotels, and about 100 travel companies from Russia.In India, 16 Azerbaijani and 100 Indian travel companies will participate in the events entitled "Azerbaijan-India Roadshow on Travel Trade".As part of the presentations, Russian and Indian travel companies will be informed in detail about the tourism potential of Azerbaijan. Moreover, B2B (business to business) meetings will be held between the organizations specializing in various areas of tourism to discuss further bilateral cooperation.Russia was the leader country in the tourism market of Azerbaijan in 2018. Thus, as many as 2,849,600 tourists from 196 countries arrived in Azerbaijan during the year and the Russians made up the largest share of the tourists - 30.9 percent (about 900,000).As for India, the number of Indian tourists visiting Azerbaijan amounted to 40,000 people in 2018. As many as 14,173 Indian tourists traveled to Azerbaijan in 2017, 6,012 in 2016, 5,584 in 2015, and 4,853 in 2014.Both India and Azerbaijan started online visa issuance in 2017, which greatly helped in tourists' travel. Indian tourists are able to get online visas for Azerbaijan within three hours.Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has been operating regular and charter flights from Baku to Delhi, the capital of India since June 25, 2019. Flights are operated once a week on Tuesdays on Boeing-757 aircraft with economy and business class configurations.Starting from autumn, it is planned to increase the number of flights to twice a week. Departures will be carried out through Terminal 1 of Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.Azerbaijani tourism representations have been operating in Russia and India since the end of last year to introduce Azerbaijan's tourism opportunities.Turning tourism into the country's second-largest development route and doubling the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan by 2023 is among the nation's strategic goals. Religious monuments in occupied Azerbaijani lands subject to vandalism Politics Fri, 23 Aug 2019 16:27:00 +0400 Trend:The Baku International Center for Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Cooperation under the Caucasus Muslims Office issued a statement, Trend reports on Aug. 23."The United Nations declared August 22 a memory day for victims of acts of violence based on religion and faith,” the statement said. “While condemning acts of violence on any basis, we support people who have been subjected to violence because of religious belief and express solidarity with them."The Center is ready to cooperate with political, social, scientific and religious institutions with the intention of preventing and resolutely suppressing any cases of violence based on religion and faith."There must not be a threat of violence due to religious belief in the 21st century in the civil world,” the statement said. “It is extremely important to ensure freedom of religion and belief, which are natural human rights. Violence, threats in this sphere are unacceptable.”“The facts of committing terrorist acts during worship in mosques, churches, synagogues, other religious temples are disgusting and cause anger,” the statement said. “The attacks on Coptic pilgrims in Egypt, the situations in Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, terrorist attacks in religious temples in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pittsburgh and other places intensify polarization of civilizations."“While revering the memory of the victims of acts of violence based on religion and faith, we must not forget that such cases, along with the extermination of people, include the destruction of tangible and intangible cultural heritage,” the statement said.“Such acts of violence, along with physical damage, also cause moral damage to people,” the statement said. “These acts pursue the insidious goal of destroying monuments of religious and spiritual heritage that has been formed over millennia, as well as eradicating cultural traditions. Thus, the destroyed religious and spiritual monuments must be considered as victims of acts of violence on the basis of religion and faith."The acts of aggression against Azerbaijani monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territories were also described in the document."Religious and spiritual monuments of our people on the ancestral Azerbaijani territories occupied as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict are subject to such vandalism and are destroyed,” the statement said.“Unfortunately, in many cases, spiritual and moral values are not taken into account in the globalizing world, due to political claims and economic interests, which leads to double standards in the protection of human rights,” the statement said. “For example, instead of eliminating the causes of the migrant flow amid the tragic incidents in the Middle East, anti-humane behavior, racist and aggressive behavior are demonstrated towards internally displaced migrants, which can be characterized as an act of violence on the basis of religion and faith.”According to the document, peaceful coexistence, understanding and humanism are indisputable values required for establishing peace and justice."Today, joint, sustainable cooperation of the presidents, public and religious leaders is important in solving the problem of preserving peace, as well as suppressing terrorism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, extremism and radicalism, establishing stability and tranquility in the world,” the statement said.“When making crucial decisions on a global scale, there is a need for religious and moral evaluation, edification and consultation of wise religious leaders,” the statement said. “From this point of view, it is important today to introduce a multicultural lifestyle to the globalizing world to prevent national, racial, religious extremism.""All religions reject violence and cruelty,” the statement said. “While appealing to all political and religious leaders of the world, we, members of the Baku International Center for Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Cooperation, urge them to intensify efforts for the sake of preserving peace and stability by using the opportunities of inter-religious, intercultural cooperation. We consider important the joint cooperation of the presidents, public and religious leaders to eliminate all these phenomena."The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. National musical culture conquers Brazil [PHOTO] Arts & Entertainment Fri, 23 Aug 2019 16:08:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovA gala concert, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic service of Azerbaijan, has been held at the magnificent Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.The Azerbaijani Embassy in Brazil organized the evening with the support of the National Commission of Azerbaijan for UNESCO.Such masters of world vocals as Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Jesse Norman, Kiri Te Kanawa performed on the stage of one of the most prestigious theaters in Latin America, which is a masterpiece of architecture of the beginning of the last century.The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the People's Artist of Azerbaijan Yalchin Adigozalov, successfully performed at the evening.This was the third visit of the Azerbaijani conductor to the largest state in South America. Successful collaboration with Brazilian orchestras began in 2013 in the capital Brasilia, and then continued with two concerts in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, in Cidade das Artes, the largest concert hall in South America, and in the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro.The concert program included works by Gara Garayev, Fikret Amirov, Asaf Zeynalli, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Heitor Villa-Lobos. The soloist was Seljan Nasibli, a graduate of the London Royal Academy of Music.He pleased the audience with the rarely performed "Scheherazade" by Maurice Ravel and the romance "Olkem" by Asaf Zeynalli. The audience awarded the Azerbaijani soprano with enthusiastic applause. The evening ended with a performance of “7th Brazilian Bachian” by Heitor Villa-Lobos.As many as 2,000 spectators, including the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Brazil Elkhan Polukhov, city hall and the National Congress of Brazil representatives, professors and students of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, enjoyed the performance.Clovis Pereira Filho, the first concertmaster of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, said that “Don Quixote Symphonic Engravings“ by Gara Garayev amazed the audience, adding that the depth and expression of the interpretation of maestro Adigozalov made an indelible impression.In turn, member of the artistic council of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, accompanist Nikola Boyadzhiev said that “Nasimi” by Fikret Amirov is the greatest music score of the 20th century."Azerbaijan gave the world outstanding composers. The concert program was one of the most interesting for the last decade. This was the deserved, resounding success of Azerbaijani culture in Brazil," he added.The event aroused great interest in the concert life of Rio de Janeiro and was widely covered by local media. Azerbaijani singer awarded in Kazakhstan Arts & Entertainment Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:33:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Mirsaid IbrahimzadeChingiz Mustafayev, Azerbaijan’s entry for Eurovision 2019, has been awarded the Nur-Sultan Music Awards 2019 prize.The Nur-Sultan Music Awards 2019 international music festival was held at the Barys Arena in the Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.Singers leading the musical rankings of Georgia, France, Italy, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan performed during the concert program.Chingiz Mustafayev sang the song “Truth”, which he performed at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.Along with Mustafayev, pop stars Grigory Leps, Svetlana Loboda, Lolita, Yerzhan Maxim, Dima Bilan, Vremya i Steklo, Shanguy, Shahzoda, Cosmos Girls, Raim & Artur and Markus Riva received the Nur-Sultan Music Awards prizes.Chingiz Mustafayev was born in Moscow and moved to Gazakh in Azerbaijan when he was six years old. He learned to play the guitar and started composing his own songs at a very young age. The singer graduated from the Baku Arts Gymnasium.At age 13, he moved to Baku with his mother and brother, where he was invited to audition for the Azerbaijani version of Pop Idol. The singer won the competition thanks to tremendous support from the jury and viewers of the show.Chingiz Mustafayev soon became a rising star in the Azerbaijani music industry and by 2013 he was already representing Azerbaijan internationally at New Wave contest in Jurmala, Latvia. Three years later he took part in The Voice of Ukraine.The singer himself writes lyrics to his songs and performs them on the guitar. At the end of 2011, he created the Palmas group. Chingiz is the lead singer and guitarist of the group.He has performed with many concert programs. In May 2015, the singer released five of his clips as part of Palmas Life project, presenting cover versions of famous flamenco hits - South Spanish (Andalusian) folk music and dance. Combat firing carried out by air defense means of Azerbaijani Armed Forces [PHOTO] Politics Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:14:00 +0400 Trend:Air defense systems of combined arms units carried out field firing according to the plan of combat training for 2019 approved by the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan, Trend reports referring to the Ministry of Defense.Moving targets with various parameters were discovered and destroyed by combat crews during the training exercises. The knowledge, skills and practical skills of the personnel who successfully completed the tasks were highly praised. New Friend of SMEs office opens in Khazar district Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaThe Agency for Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) continues to enhance the role and competitiveness of SMEs in the country's economy.As a single structure with special powers, the Agency organizes, coordinates, evaluates and regulates the services provided by government agencies and organizations in this area through SME houses.The Agency establishes the Friend of SMEs offices in the country as a mechanism that helps to identify and implement initiatives of SMEs, realize their potential, provide them with support at all stages of their development and protect the rights of entrepreneurs.New Friend of SMEs was launched in Khazar district of Baku on August 22. This is the 16th Friend of SMEs in the country and the second in Baku, the Agency said in a message.Presently, Friends of SMEs are operating in 14 cities and regions of the country, and entrepreneurs from surrounding areas can also use their services.At the event dedicated to the opening of the new Friend of SMEs office, entrepreneurs operating in Khazar district were informed about the support mechanisms and services provided by Friend of SMEs to micro, small and medium-sized businesses.Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Board of SMEs Development Agency, noted that SMEs in Khazar and neighboring districts can contact the center regarding the opening of a business, expanding existing business activities, as well as regarding protection of rights and interests.He stressed that Friend of SMEs in the Khazar district will provide support and services to entrepreneurs in such areas as information, advice, training, legal assistance, and coordination with government departments.Elshan Salahov, Head of the Khazar District Executive Power, highlighted the opportunities created in the region for the realization of economic potential and expansion of entrepreneurial activity. He noted that relevant support will be provided to entrepreneurs in the district.A presentation on the concept of Friend of SMEs was also held. The event participants got acquainted with the Friend of SMEs office, which will operate in the youth house of the Khazar district.Here, all the necessary conditions have been created to provide appropriate services and support to entrepreneurs. “Volunteers of SMEs” will also operate within the Friend of SMEs office.The activities of the Friends of SMEs are focused on a region's development potential through the creation of new SMEs and the development of the existing ones. Another key aspect of Friends of SMEs' activity is the provision of SMEs with multiple supports for their sustainable development needs. The surveys and monitoring are also important directions of the activities of Friends of SMEs.The share of SMEs in employment in Azerbaijan was 76 percent last year, and in recent years, comprehensive work has been carried out for the development of SMEs. In particular, inspections of business entities have been suspended and the process of obtaining licenses has been simplified.The share of SMEs in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade is planned to increase to 40 percent after 2025. Caucasus Muslims Office chairman leaves for visit to Russia’s Chechen Republic Society Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:42:00 +0400 Trend:Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office, Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade left for a visit to Grozny city, the capital of Russia’s Chechen Republic, the Caucasus Muslims Office told Trend on Aug. 23.The Azerbaijani delegation, consisting of First Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani parliament Ziyafat Asgarov and Chairman of the State Committee for the Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli, will take part in solemn events on the occasion of the 68th birth anniversary of First President of the Chechen Republic, Hero of Russia Akhmad Kadyrov. Excavation work for TAP’s microtunnel completed Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:25:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Mirsaid IbrahimzadeSouthern Gas Corridor is one of the most ambitious projects in the oil and gas industry, and as part of it, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) makes its own important contribution to successful completion of this project.Excavation work as part of the construction of a microtunnel for TAP in Melendugno has been completed, Italy, TAP said in a message.The overall progress is currently nearing 90 percent, and much of the land along the TAP route was restored, the message says.“Special technology will be used to ensure the laying of the pipeline along the route. The remote-controlled submarine will in real time provide the information necessary for the operation of the pipe-laying vessel,” TAP said.As for the welding work, 99 percent of it was finished on the onshore route of the TAP. TAP AG consortium stated that the welding seams are automatically tested to ensure that they comply with national and international standards.Recently, shallow water pipelay and offshore backfilling in Albania as part of the TAP project was finished.                  TAP project started in 2016. Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.The first gas deliveries to Europe via TAP are expected to start in 2020.It will transport natural gas from the Caspian basin to Europe, connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, crossing Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to finally connect to the Italian natural gas network.Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG is a joint venture company registered in Baar, canton Zug, Switzerland, with a purpose of planning, developing and building the TAP pipeline. The Managing Director of the company is Luca Schieppati. EU set to halt imports of Canadian cherries, other fruits World news Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:03:00 +0400 Trend:The European Union will halt imports of Canadian cherries and other fresh fruits starting Sept. 1 as it enforces new import requirements related to pests, according to a Canadian government document sent to industry on Thursday, Trend reports citing Reuters.In the notice, which was seen by Reuters, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the restrictions also apply to families of fruits that include apples, pears, cranberries, blueberries, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. It was not clear if other countries are affected.“Please note that the CFIA is working with industry to propose pest risk mitigation measures to the EU for these commodities, which may allow exports to resume,” said the notice.The new European Union rules do not apply to frozen and dried fruit. There should also be no issues with sea containers that arrive in the EU with export documents dated before Sept. 1, the agency said.The EU office in Ottawa and Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Canada’s agriculture sector already faces other trade disputes, including an ongoing spat with China over Canadian canola, pork and beef.Beth Cavers, a program administrator with the B.C. Cherry Association, said the pending EU ban should not affect this year’s cherry harvest, which wrapped up on Thursday, as the fruit is packed and shipped immediately.It could, however, have serious implications for the 2020 harvest if unresolved, she added.“There were some indications that they were reviewing this, but we didn’t know they were just going to shut down the border to cherries like this,” Cavers said by telephone when asked if industry had received prior notice.In 2018, Canada shipped approximately C$3.1 million ($2.33 million) in cherries to the EU. Farmers offer products at trade fair Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:47:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Mirsaid IbrahimzadeThe more innovations and support come from the state, the more interested farmers become in expanding their activities and increasing production with no fear of facing losses. One of the initiatives of the government is trade fairs, which allow farmers to present and sell their products with the lowest expenses."From Village to City” trade fair, which is held by Agro Procurement and Supply OJSC under the Agriculture Ministry of Azerbaijan, is ongoing in Baku.The agricultural products are traded every day in two sites in Yasamal and Binagadi districts on Baku. Thus, capital residents can purchase seasonal agricultural products directly from manufacturers participating in the fair.Prices for agricultural products produced by almost 50 farmers from 15 regions of the country are significantly lower than market prices.The main objective of the fair is to create an abundance of local products in the markets and prevent artificial price increases, as well as expand the marketing opportunities for farmers.Agro Procurement and Supply company also supports farmers in terms of raising their awareness. The company holds educational trainings in accordance with farmers’ directions of activity to establish farmer cooperatives, which will lead to more efficient results, increased productivity and planned farming.Moreover, thanks to cooperatives, farmers will be less dependent, which will ease their transition to self-management. They will be able to independently manage their projects without the need for bank loans, subsidies and advances.Azerbaijani farmers keep on receiving large subsidies. More than 86 million manats ($50.58 million) will be allocated to farmers for fuel and motor oil, cultivation of wheat, rice as well as silk cocoons in 2019.Significant growth in productivity and production has been observed in the agricultural sector thanks to innovative technologies, which are key factor of intensive development. Gold, silver prices down in Azerbaijan Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:29:00 +0400 Trend:Gold and silver prices decreased in Azerbaijan on Aug. 23 compared to the previous prices, Trend reports referring to the data published by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.The price of gold decreased by 8.6955 manats to 2,541.4235 manats per ounce.The price of silver decreased by 0.1041 manats to 28.8907 manats per ounce.The price of platinum increased by 17.8925 manats to 1,460.0195 manats per ounce.The price of palladium increased in comparison with the previous figure by 29.835 manats to 2,522.8000 manats per ounce.Precious metalsAug. 23, 2019Aug. 22, 2019GoldXAU2,541.42352,550.1190SilverXAG28.890728.9948PlatinumXPT1,460.01951,442.1270PalladiumXPD2,522.80002,492.9650The precious metals are gold, silver, platinum and metals of platinum group (palladium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium) brought to the highest fineness (999.9).The precious metals are sold as ingots, coins or powder and have the appropriate quality certificates.Troy ounce is a unit of mass equal to 31.1034768 grams.(1 USD = 1.7 AZN on Aug. 23) BSTDB expands portfolio of projects in country Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:11:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaThe Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) supports economic development and regional cooperation through participation in granting loans for projects in the public and private sectors of member countries, by opening credit lines, investing in and granting guarantees and trade financing.BSTDB expands its portfolio of projects in various sectors in Azerbaijan, the Bank's President Dmitry Pankin told Trend.He stressed that the BSTDB works on the Shah Deniz-2 project together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In his words, the BSTDB has allocated $60 million for this project.In 2015, ADB and the EBRD, with the participation of the BSTDB, agreed to provide a financing package of almost $1 billion for the Shah Deniz-2 project. The EBRD and ADB agreed to provide a loan of $250 million, and the BSTDB - $60 million. The rest of the funding is planned to be provided by a group of commercial lenders.As for cooperation with Azerbaijan’s state oil company, Pankin noted that the Bank implements a large ongoing project with SOCAR.“We provided $50 million for the company’s trade financing. We find the cooperation with SOCAR very successful, and we would like to continue work in this direction,” he said.He further added that the BSTDB directs funds in national currency, received as a result of placement of the first BSTDB loan in Azerbaijan, to support the development of small and medium-sized businesses.The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank is the first international financial institution to issue bonds in Azerbaijani manats. Lending in national currencies appeared after the crisis of 2007-2008, when the monetary units of emerging markets fell sharply. Thus, it became too risky to take loans in dollars and to receive revenue in own currency.BSTDB issued the first tranche of Azerbaijani manat bonds worth 10 million manats ($5.88 million) on August 1.The total amount of manat bonds, which the BSTDB plans to issue, equals 50 million manats ($29.42 million) and will be allocated in tranches during the year.?The Bank can further issue manat bonds. The ADB and the EBRD are also interested in issuing and placing bonds in Azerbaijani manats.Currently, the Bank develops a number of projects in the field of electric power industry, production of equipment for the oil and gas industry, support for trade financing.The Bank was founded by Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Armenia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia in 1999.At present, the authorized capital of the Bank is 3.45 billion euros and the share capital is 2.3 billion euros. Azerbaijan has the 5 percent share capital and is the seventh largest shareholder of the 11 member countries.So far, the total number of Bank's operations in Azerbaijan is 39 with the financing in the amount of about 366 million euros.The current portfolio of the Bank on projects in Azerbaijan is estimated at 53.867 million euros as of the end of 2018.Earlier, Pankin noted that BSTDB may allocate about 80 million euros for projects in Azerbaijan in 2019. This will mainly be the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).BSTDB has prepared the first four-year draft strategy for cooperation with Azerbaijan. The negotiations will continue in August and September. Over 200,000 passengers transported by trains in Azerbaijan in July Society Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:56:00 +0400 Trend:Some 270,000 passengers were transported by trains in Azerbaijan in July 2019, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC told Trend on Aug. 22.Many passengers were transported in the western direction of the country.Azerbaijan Railways CJSC transported 1,896,200 people in January - July 2019, which is 350,700 people or 22.7 percent more than in January-July 2018 (1,545,500 people).“Some 77,523 passengers were transported within the country, 15,847 passengers were transported from Azerbaijan to other countries, 19,226 passengers by the Baku-Ganja-Baku high-speed train and 157,427 passengers by the Baku-Sumgait-Baku electric train in July 2019,” the company said. Revenues from gold exports up Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:40:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaBeing one of the leading sectors in the economy of Azerbaijan, mining industry holds the largest share in the industrial production.Enjoying an increase in the production of precious metals, such as gold and silver, Azerbaijan also sees growth in the mining products exports.The country exported 2,302 kg of gold worth $70.4 million to world markets in the first half of 2019. The gold exports increased by 60.1 percent in quantitative terms and by 15.9 percent in value terms compared to the same period in 2018. All export of gold accounted for Switzerland in the first half of 2019.In January-June 2018, gold exports from Azerbaijan amounted to 1,430 kg worth $60.7 million.Gold mining in Azerbaijan amounted to 1,720 kg in January-June 2019. Last year, Azerbaijan exported 2,904 kg of gold for $118.04 million to world markets.Azerbaijan has rich gold deposits. Gold is mostly produced in Dashkasan and Gadabay regions of the country.AzerGold CJSC, established in 2015, is engaged in the study, research, exploration, management, as well as extraction, processing and sale of precious and non-ferrous metal ore deposits, implementation of new technologies in this field, modernization and efficient use of material and technical base, and implementation of other activities related to the development of the industry.The company is engaged in the study, research, exploration, development and management of the gold-bearing and iron-ore areas of Garadagh, Chovdar, Goydag, Daghkesaman, Kohnamadan sites and the Kurekchay field.Anglo Asian Mining Plc. is a gold, copper and silver producer with a broad portfolio of production and exploration assets in Azerbaijan.The company produces gold in Azerbaijan within the framework of the production sharing agreement signed on August 21, 1997. The share of Azerbaijan in the contract is 51 percent, and the share of Anglo Asian Mining is 49 percent.Under the production sharing agreement, Anglo Asian Mining has the right to develop six fields in south-west of Azerbaijan: Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gizil Bulag, Vejnali and Soyutlu.According to the agreement, 400 tons of gold, 2,500 tons of silver and 1,500 tons of copper are expected to be extracted from these deposits.The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources estimates that the country is able to produce about 10-15 tons of gold per year.Azerbaijan, a country rich in mineral resources, started industrial production of gold in July 2009. About 900 fields were registered in Azerbaijan's state and territorial balance of reserves of mineral resources. As a result of First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva’s activities, Azerbaijan achieved great ... Society Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:22:00 +0400 Trend:First Vice President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva honorably fulfills her duties, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) Ali Ahmadov said, Trend reports.He said that as a result of the activities by First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, Azerbaijan has achieved great success.“The First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva has an exceptional role in shaping the image of women in modern Azerbaijani politics,” he noted. “I believe that this is a very high achievement. The First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva made great efforts in holding humanitarian, cultural and international events in Azerbaijan. The First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva has exceptional merit in bringing the realities of Azerbaijan to the attention of the world community. NAP is proud of the success of Mehriban Aliyeva.” AZPROMO to organize customer mission for foreign companies Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:04:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaAzerbaijan regularly organizes export and customer missions to promote national products under the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand.The Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Fund (AZPROMO) will organize a customer mission to the country for the companies of several countries in October.The mission will be organized for companies operating in the markets of Russia, Georgia, Iran and Uzbekistan, AZPROMO told local media.The products to be offered by Azerbaijan for purchase include building materials.The mission covers October 22-25. The companies wishing to participate in the customer mission must submit all necessary documents by September 15.Earlier, AZPROMO said that it will organize a customer mission for companies operating in the markets of Germany, Poland and Croatia in November. Wines, spirits and food products will be offered to the customers.AZPROMO organizes customer missions for the promotion of non-oil products of Azerbaijan. Only 10 people can participate in a customer mission, and the period of their stay in the country does not exceed six days.Foreign citizens participating in the customer missions will be provided with a hotel room, tickets for air transport, as well as local transport at the expense of the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan.AZPROMO operates under the Economy Ministry since 2003 to contribute to the economic development through attracting foreign investments and stimulating exports in the non-oil sector.The introduction of local products of Azerbaijan to international markets boosts the non-oil sector of the country's economy and strengthens business ties with foreign countries. Along with export missions, organization of customer missions is one of the tools aimed at promotion of Azerbaijan’s non-oil products under the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand.Customer missions are organized taking into account the country's economic and trade links, the export potential of non-oil products, as well as requests from exporters.Launched in 2016, the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand envisages a large-scale promotion of local non-oil products in foreign markets.Promotion of export-oriented local products under the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand in a wider geographic area also helps to attract foreign investment. The export of non-oil products will stimulate the expansion of their production and further strengthen the non-oil sector's share in the structure of the GDP. Deputy PM talks on strong, powerful, majestic and modern Azerbaijan today Society Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:48:00 +0400 Trend:Azerbaijan has never been so strong, powerful, majestic and modern as it is now, Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party Ali Ahmadov said.Ahmadov made the remarks in Baku at the conference entitled "Azerbaijan’s Contribution to Intercultural Dialogue".“As Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has reiterated, Azerbaijan maintains stability in the turbulent world,” Ahmadov added, Trend reports. “This is one of the most instructive moments of Azerbaijani reality.”He stressed that Azerbaijan is undergoing a period of development."Our country is one of the most successful among the modern countries. This is also caused by favorable processes within the country,” Ahmadov said. "Our country has sufficient authority in the world community. Being not only a spectator of the current processes in the world, Azerbaijan is also a participant and leader in these events. The conducting of international events in Azerbaijan is a contribution to the common cause of the world community.”“Azerbaijan is a supporter of a dialogue as a means of resolving global concerns,” he added. “There are tendencies in a number of European countries to deviate from the ideas of the multiculturalism. Azerbaijan has always emphasized the importance of the ideas of multiculturalism."“Azerbaijan continues to render great assistance to the dialogue between civilizations and cultures,” he added.“Multiculturalism has become an important value in Azerbaijan’s public life and this value is greatly promoted by the Azerbaijani side worldwide,” Ahmadov said. “In particular, when tough clashes between civilizations and cultures disturbing us occur now, propaganda of the ideas of multiculturalism is of particular importance. The world community and international organizations unequivocally recognize that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the dialogue between civilizations and makes a great contribution to this process.”Ahmadov added that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation renders great support to Azerbaijan’s activity in this sphere.“The Heydar Aliyev Foundation played an important role in putting forward the initial initiative for a dialogue between civilizations and cultures to be organized in Azerbaijan today and for Azerbaijan to contribute to this process,” he said. Azerbaijani artist’s "Pomegranate" presented in "Gardens of Eden" Arts & Entertainment Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:33:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Mirsaid IbrahimzadeThe work "Nar" ("Pomegranate") of Samani Shakhsuvar Gasimzade, the Azerbaijani master in tapestries and kilim, has aroused great interest at the exhibition "Gardens of Eden", which was presented in an ancient Austrian castle Schloss Neuhaus, located on the bank of the Danube River.To participate in the international project, organized by the European Textile Network (ETN), more than 450 works were submitted and only about 70 of them were selected for the exhibition by the competent jury.Addressing the 19th ETN International Conference in Haslach, Austria, Gasimzade spoke about her work and the history of Azerbaijani decorative and applied art.For about 30 years, Gasimzade has been creating tapestries and kilims - works of art, paintings created with the help of threads interwoven into incredible patterns, ornaments, compositions and plots.Each of her work has its own exceptional mood, there is a soul in each of them.Majority of the artist’s works reflect the ancient culture and history of Azerbaijan - these are compositions dedicated to Gobustan, the ancient part of Baku - Icherisheher, Absheron, the village of Khinalig and the pomegranate.Emphasizing that pomegranate is a symbol of Azerbaijan, which symbolizes fertility and wealth, Gasimzade noted that in Azerbaijan, poems and books are written, songs are composed about pomegranate, and it is considered a paradise fruit from ancient times.She said that the annual Pomegranate Festival is held in Azerbaijan during the days of the harvest of pomegranate.“Pomegranate ornaments take an important place in our ancient arts and crafts, carpet weaving and culture. This fruit is used in the preparation of many dishes of national cuisine. I wanted to show the beauty of this amazing fruit, our nature, the mystery of human harmony with my work “Nar”,” she noted.Pomegranate is a unique fruit, and Azerbaijan is the only country in the world where all varieties of pomegranate grow.The juice of the pomegranate is not only tasty, but also very healthy. Pomegranates are used in traditional medicine, are recommended to address a variety of ailments, including poor appetite. The pulp is used to improve the appetite.Decoction of the root is used as an anesthetic, juice is helpful for people who suffer from anemia, for diabetics and is used to stabilize the pressure. The pomegranate peel is good for normalization of digestion. Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry prepares infographics on 26th anniversary of occupation of Fuzuli, ... Politics Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:30:00 +0400 Trend:The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has prepared infographics in connection with the 26th anniversary of the occupation of the country’s Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts.Trend presents this infographics. Luxury Awards laureates named [PHOTO] Arts & Entertainment Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:13:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovThe Bilgah Beach Hotel in Baku has hosted Luxury Awards, the national award ceremony, established by the ABA Event Group.Luxury Awards was presented for the second time, Trend Life reported.At the opening ceremony, award winners and guests of the festive evening walked on the red carpet. Besides, an auto show of expensive foreign cars, as well as a concert program with the participation of celebrities and the Ateshgah band were presented to the guests.The laureates of the award included Mohamed Hamel Al-Gubaisi, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Azerbaijan, Moroccan ambassador Mohammed Adil Embarch, Karabakh war veteran Kamil Musavi, public figure Parvin Sharifov.Singers Dilara Kazimova, Aisel Mammadova, Diana Hajiyeva, Elchin Jafarov, TV presenter Afag Ganjali, athletes Eduard Mammadov, Ruslan Abushov, businessmen Jalal Asgarov, Ramil Rzayev, Shahin Mirkishili, designers Elnara de Birbuet, Jalal Kangarli, Ruslan Mammadov, as well as the fashion industry representatives Fuad Hajiyev, Nasir Babayev and others were also among the award laureates.Agil Mamiyev and Laman Mirtalibli are the authors of the project.The prize is awarded for achievements in public life, education, medicine, business, culture, art, sports, the fashion industry and the media.Media partners of the event were,,, Shah Deniz gas exports grow Business Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaShah Deniz Stage 2, one of the largest gas developments in the world, will help increase European energy security by bringing Caspian gas resources to markets in Europe for the very first time.Azerbaijan exported 5.8 billion cubic meters of gas from Shah Deniz field in January-July 2019. This is 34.7 percent more than in the same period last year, State Statistical Committee said in a message.Gas exports from the Shah Deniz field accounted for 36.3 percent of all gas transported through gas pipelines in the reporting period.In general, Azerbaijan’s gas pipelines transported 16 billion cubic meters of gas in the first seven months of 2019, which is 20.3 percent more than in the same period in 2018.Azerbaijan’s gas export from Shah Deniz totaled 8.4 billion cubic meters in 2018. It is forecast that production at the Shah Deniz field will reach 17.39 billion cubic meters of gas in 2019. In 2018, BP produced 11.5 billion cubic meters of gas and 2.5 million tons of condensate from the Shah Deniz field.Currently, gas production from the Shah Deniz field is carried out from the Alfa platform as part of Stage 1 and from the Bravo platform as part of Stage 2.Shah Deniz field covers approximately 860 square kilometers. The field was discovered in 1999. Shah Deniz is a giant gas condensate field, reserves of which are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 240 million tons of condensates.Within the second stage of field development, the volume of gas production can be increased to 24 billion cubic meters per year, according to forecasts.The discovery of the giant Shah Deniz field and the successful implementation of the project made Azerbaijan a country that can export a large amount of natural gas to the world.The Shah Deniz gas field is still the biggest discovery of BP after the Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Alaska. SOFAZ (Azerbaijani Oil Fund) has so far earned $ 2.5 billion from the development of Shah Deniz.The agreement on the exploration, development and shared production of promising areas of Shah Deniz was signed on June 4, 1996. The agreement on the division of production was ratified on October 17, 1996.The project participants are BP (operator - 28.8 percent), AzSD (10 percent), SGC Upstream (6.7 percent), Petronas (15.5 percent), LUKOIL (10 percent), N?KO (10 percent) and TPAO (19 percent).Shah Deniz 2 is the starting point of the new Southern Gas Corridor, which will deliver Caspian resources directly to European markets for the first time, through Italy, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and the seabed of the Adriatic Sea.The Southern Gas Corridor, a $40 billion worth project, envisages the transportation of gas to Turkey and Europe through the pipeline, which will be operated within the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 21 times Politics Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:28:00 +0400 Trend:Over the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 21 times, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Aug. 23, Trend reports.The Armenian armed forces were using large-caliber machine guns.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.