An e-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan attended a roundtable meeting with Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Cabbarov and NGO leaders in the Turkish and Azerbaijani business world within the scope of Baku talks. In her speech at the meeting, Pekcan said that they are proud of the success of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and that today, as representatives of the business world and government, they come together to crown their success in the field with economic success.
Reminding that the Preferential Trade Agreement between Turkey and Azerbaijan entered into force on March 1, 2021, Pekcan said, “It is important to deepen and diversify our bilateral trade. We have started to work to expand the scope of this agreement. However, we aim to continue our journey as a single market and complete it with a Free Trade Agreement, starting with the vision of a single nation. In this direction, we must ensure the most comprehensive cooperation in economic relations and make the best use of opportunities together. The deepening of the economic cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan will mean a lot for the economy of the region. In addition, the increasing economic cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan will strengthen our interaction with the Turkic Republics in Central Asia. In this way, we must continue our work jointly to strategically advance our economic cooperation, with both a bilateral and a regional understanding.”
Pekcan said that Turkey’s current Customs Union agreement with the EU is as important as Azerbaijan, as well as the existing preferential trade arrangements with third countries. She expressed that they are aware of the advantage that Azerbaijan provides to investors, especially in terms of entering and interacting with markets such as Ukraine, Georgia and the Commonwealth of Independent States geography.
Saying that the mutual investment relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are at a very satisfactory level, Pekcan stated that as governments, they will continue to provide all kinds of support for further increase of investments and they will organize “roadshows” for this.
Pekcan stated that the victory won by Azerbaijan in Karabakh created a new opening opportunity in Turkey and Azerbaijan relations in every sense, and created new opportunities in bilateral trade, investments and logistics.
Reminding that the transition process between the two countries with ID started on April 1, Pekcan said, “We, as Turkey, will provide you with all kinds of convenience, but you also need to take a role. Our business world has a very important role in evaluating this new period and the opportunities it brings. In the new period, issues such as infrastructure and superstructure projects in regions liberated from occupation, increasing commercial activities with new investments and factories in these regions, emerging logistics opportunities, more active use of the route described as ‘Middle-Corridor’ and strengthening the importance of Azerbaijan in logistics. These are the areas where we need to focus on and get results with a proactive approach. Together, in close cooperation and coordination, we must achieve this work, we will succeed.”
Pekcan stated that both Turkey and Azerbaijan state officials are of the same opinion on improving relations, “We deal with many technical issues within the framework of important agenda issues such as facilitating trade, increasing cooperation in customs and logistics areas, mutually increasing investments, we agree to resolve them.”
Referring to the importance of the e-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding signed today, Pekcan said, “We are also investing in the future of our relations by working on innovative fields such as e-Commerce. Our aim is to make (the memorandum of understanding) a digital economic partnership agreement. We will start our work immediately in this direction.”
“We can take economic relations to a whole new dimension”
Pointing out that they are open to all kinds of demands and suggestions from the business world, Pekcan said:
“We have entered a new era in commercial and economic relations between our countries. The entry into force of our Preferential Trade Agreement, the expansion of its scope, the new opportunities brought by the Karabakh victory, the new investments to be made in Karabakh, the transformation created by the pandemic process in the global economy and the new opportunities that arise, all these create the need to look at our bilateral trade and economic relations with a new strategic vision. We expect this from you too. In order to seize opportunities in mutual trade and investment, we must act more effectively, in coordination and speed than ever before. Together, we can take the economic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan to a whole new dimension. We sincerely believe that we will achieve this with the perseverance and efforts of our business people and the support that our governments will provide to our business people.”
“Turkish companies will be given priority in the development of regions liberated from occupation”
Azerbaijan Economy Minister Cabbarov stated that they intend to expand trade relations with Turkey. Stating that the trade volume of the two countries decreased by 8% due to the pandemic in 2020 and that it was $4.2 billion, Cabbarov said, “Since our joint work and the Preferential Trade Agreement that entered into force will contribute to the growth of our commercial relations, I am sure that we will achieve a trade volume figure above 2019 figures by the end of the year.”
Cabbarov noted that efforts are continuing to expand the scope of the Preferential Trade Agreement and that the e-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding will also contribute to the development of commercial relations.
Stating that more than 4 thousand 200 Turkish companies are operating in Azerbaijan and the brother country is in the first place in the ranking, Cabbarov stated that Turkish companies are also leaders in this field by winning more than 300 public tenders worth $16.3 billion in Azerbaijan. Cabbarov noted that Turkish investors invested $13 billion in Azerbaijan, and Turkey ranks first in investments in non-oil sectors in the country. Reminding that Azerbaijan made the biggest investment abroad to Turkey, Cabbarov stated that these investments reached $19 billion. Cabbarov said, “We will give priority to Turkish companies in the development of regions liberated from the occupation. It is pleasing to have many applications from Turkish businessmen on this issue.”
After the meeting, Pekcan and Cabbarov signed the e-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Rifat Hisarciklioglu, and the President of the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK) Bendevi Palandoken, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) President Ismail Gulle, Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD) President Abdurrahman Kaan, Turkey Contractors Association (TMB) President Erdal Eren attended the meeting.
Within the scope of the event, an agreement was also signed between TESK and Azerbaijan Businessmen Confederation.
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz