Turkey, Azerbaijan eye $15B bilateral trade volume, says Turkish trade minister
Turkish contractors aim to increase cooperation with Azerbaijan and actively participate in the rebuilding process of Nagorno-Karabakh region, Turkey’s trade minister said on Monday.
Turkey’s contractors, who have undertaken projects for years on a global scale, also completed nearly 450 projects worth $15 billion in Azerbaijan, Mehmet Mus said during the virtual Turkey-Azerbaijan Investment Forum. It was organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK).
The Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory and was occupied by Armenia in 1991, was liberated by Azerbaijan in November with a deal after a 44-day war.
Underlining the importance of bilateral trade, Mus said Turkey and Azerbaijan aim to reach a trade volume of $15 billion.
He said Turkey and Azerbaijan’s trade rose by 5% in 2020 on an annual basis to $4.6 billion, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Trade increased in the first four months of 2021 and the trend is expected to continue throughout the year, he added.
Mus said that studies to expand the scope of a preferential trade agreement,which came into effect on March 1, are ongoing.
He shared that Turkey’s investments in Azerbaijan amounted to $12 billion, while Azerbaijan’s in Turkey totaled $19.5 billion.
Azerbaijan was 28th among 190 countries in the Doing Business Index by the World Bank, the minister said.
‘One nation, two states’
Mikayil Jabbarov, Azerbaijan’s economy minister, said the “constructive” meeting will strengthen the bond of Turkish-Azeri brotherhood.
“The friendship and brotherhood between Turkey and Azerbaijan are at a peak today,” he said, adding that more companies investing in each another’s countries would have a stronger impact on bilateral trade.
Jabbarov said Turkey and Azerbaijan will continue to support each other with the “one nation, two states” motto.
Nail Olpak, the president of DEIK, highlighted Azerbaijan’s new investment opportunities in the aftermath of the victory in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We have talked with Azerbaijan about joint projects in third countries as well,” Olpak said, listing states such as Georgia and Pakistan.
He said the potential investment areas included health, health tourism, agriculture, defense, infrastructure, mining and medicine.
Yusif Abdullayev, the acting president at Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation, said the forum will be important for Azerbaijan, Turkish investors and companies.
He said an investment roadshow was planned for the beginning of 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19. “We will present all investment developments that took place in Azerbaijan in recent years to Turkish investors.”