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Belarus, Azerbaijan rapidly developing manufacturing cooperation

MINSK, 28 August (BelTA) – Belarus and Azerbaijan are rapidly developing mutually beneficial manufacturing cooperation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Azerbaijan Nikolai Patskevich told BelTA in an interview.

The diplomat said that during the visit of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to Minsk on 28-29 August the sides will discuss a wide range of bilateral cooperation matters such as interaction in the international arena and the development of economic ties. Close attention will be paid to bilateral manufacturing cooperation projects and prospects of scientific and innovative cooperation.

On the eve of the Azerbaijan President’s visit Minsk hosted the seventh session of the Belarusian-Azerbaijani commission on trade and economic cooperation. Under the chairmanship of First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko and First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Yaqub Eyyubov the sides discussed urgent matters relating to trade, economic, scientific and technical, and humanitarian cooperation. As part of the commission’s session Yaqub Eyyubov met with Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich.

The Ambassador of Belarus to Azerbaijan pointed out the importance of promoting ties with Azerbaijan: “Today’s Azerbaijan is a regional leader, a member of the UN Security Council that has confidently asserted itself in the international arena. Within a short time the country has become a noticeable player on the global market of hydrocarbons and an important venue for intercultural and interfaith dialogue. By attracting over $100 billion in foreign investments, Azerbaijan is gradually becoming an investment donor. Therefore, maintaining an intensive dialogue at the top level undoubtedly serves our national interests”.

Azerbaijan is a strategic partner of Belarus in South Caucasus, remarked the Ambassador of Belarus. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Belarus-Azerbaijan diplomatic relations. Since the relations were established, the bilateral cooperation has evolved into a mutually beneficial and rapidly developing partnership. Trusting relations have been established between the two countries. They are the decisive factor that positively influences the entire range of Belarusian-Azerbaijani relations. Stable ties have been established between the governments, the parliaments, and individual government agencies. A solid legal base for the bilateral relations has been formed, continued Nikolai Patskevich.

Undoubtedly, trade and economic cooperation is the foundation for the bilateral relations. The intergovernmental commission has played an important role in advancing the cooperation. Since its inception in 2004 the mutual trade has increased several times over. In 2011 the trade turnover exceeded $1 billion.

Nikolai Patskevich believes that joint projects in the area of manufacturing cooperation make a valuable contribution to the development of the two economies. In his opinion, a substantial step has been made in investment and scientific cooperation. Contacts in medicine and education are being expanded. The number of Azerbaijani students, who study in Belarus, is on the rise. The geography of interregional ties has expanded considerably, cultural exchange is vibrant.

The Belarusian diplomat remarked that the number of investment projects accomplished by Azerbaijani businessmen in Belarus rises year after year. A major logistics center is being built with assistance of Azerbaijani business as well as a business center and a restaurant complex. Over 40 Azerbaijani companies act as permanent dealers for Belarusian enterprises.