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Russia–Azerbaijan
8 June 2019
08:30—10:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Economic ties between Russia and Azerbaijan are actively developing

According to the statistics, we have two-digit rates of trade turnover growth; services and mutual transactions are also growing. In fact, we are talking about not only transactions from Russia to Azerbaijan, but also the other way around. This means that connections between businesses, between people are very close — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Last year, the trade turnover between our countries grew almost by 14% and reached USD 2.4 billion. Russia has already invested over 4 billion into Azeri economy; Azerbaijan – over one billion. Export from Russia to Azerbaijan grew by 12.5, to USD 1.7 billion, over the last year — Alexey Repik, Chairman, Russian-Japanese Business Council; President, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia); Chairman of the Board, Group R-Pharm .

Russian-Azeri relations have a huge potential

Despite being complementary to a certain extent, our economies are now gradually attuning to each other, looking for synergic opportunities for cooperation, and this explains higher frequency of contacts both between authorities, leaders of our countries, and business circles — Alexey Repik, Chairman, Russian-Japanese Business Council; President, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia); Chairman of the Board, Group R-Pharm .

Our leaders see huge potential in deepening interactions between Azeri and Russian businesses, and our advice remains an efficient mechanism for achieving this goal — Samad Gurbanov, Chairman, Azerbaijan-Russia Business Council.

We have not yet depleted all resources that our countries possess regarding development of economic ties; we can cultivate trade and investment relations. Today both Russia and Azerbaijan have enough investment resources to ensure that joint enterprises with competences that Russia has grow in Azerbaijan, and with competences that Azerbaijan has – grow in Russia — Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

Cultural affinity of the countries facilitates cooperation

We work with almost all countries, with the East, with Europe, with America, but it is easier with our Russian colleagues, probably, because of a similar system of values, a similar mentality. Another important factor is that both countries have strong leaders that clearly express their will to their people — Farid Dzhafarov, General Director, SOCAR.

ISSUES
Hindered access to procurement of Russian state corporations for Azeri companies

Another important area is making it possible for Azeri small businesses to participate in procurement of our major state corporations, corporations with public ownership. There are few such companies, because at least they have to register in Russia, localize in Russia in order to present their products — Nikita Bantsekin, Member of the Management Board, Head of Public Relations and International Activities Directorate, Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation .

Potential of development of tourist exchange between the countries is not adequately used

According to the Azeri State Tourism Agency, in 2018, 878,000 tourists visited Azerbaijan, which is just a 5% increase compared to 2017; at the same time neighbouring countries, for example, Georgia, demonstrated 24% growth. As for Russia, 626,000 Azeris visited Russia, which is a 3% increase. These figures allow us to thoroughly study why there is no considerable growth compared to neighbouring countries, despite deep shared cultural, social and economic roots and relations — Yelena Krivenkova, Chair of the Tourism Committee, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

SOLUTIONS
Creation of favourable conditions for joint projects

Our task is to create conditions for these joint business projects to develop, provide necessary support on the federal level, help lift barriers; but anyway behind all these projects are real companies, real people that come to agreements, develop projects and implement them — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Government is working to create conditions, legal framework, solve all problems and issues, lift barriers. Businessmen need to use these opportunities and push forward the economic relations that have been established between our countries — Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

We are working on the concept of providing incentives for clusters in public sector and developing friends for small and medium-sized business; these are offices of our agency located throughout the Republic — Orhan Mamedov, Chairman of the Board, Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

We need to organize work in such way that next year, as part of SPIEF, we have an extended panel and prepare more thoroughly to discuss all areas in a broader format — Yusif Abdullayev, President, Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO).

Diversification of areas of cooperation

I would like to emphasize logistics; we see a pretty good potential there — Azer Talibov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation .

Our work is not limited to gas, oil and petrochemicals; we try to look to other sectors and are now actively considering funding of Russian products export to Azerbaijban — Ivan Ryutov, First Vice President, Gazprombank.

PASHA Bank, as the largest private bank in Azerbaijan, is actively working towards supporting projects of Azeri oil sector development. The topic of agriculture was highlighted a number of times in the speeches, and we are actively moving in this direction — Jalal Orujov, Member of the Executive Board, Chief Operations Officer, PASHA Bank.

I would like to particularly note the international transport route corridor Baku–Tbilisi–Kars that was fully invested and constructed by Azerbaijan. It was a pleasure to learn about Russia’s desire to join the corridor that was confirmed by a memorandum on cooperation signed by Azeri, Russian and Turkish railways — Natik Geydarov, General Director, Alliance Logistic.

Stronger coordination between agencies of the two countries

We count on long-term cooperation; today, during the meeting, we agreed that Russia will provide us with production for a long term, and we will inform our producers, and direct them towards what is needed on the Russian market — Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS