UAE and Azerbaijan focus on nine areas of future cooperation.

The sixth session of the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai, and co-chaired by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and his counterpart, Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economic Development in Azerbaijan, concluded on a high note.

It was also attended by Eng. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy; Sahil Babayev, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Hamel Al Qubaisi, UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and Dashgin Shikarov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UAE, alongside an elite of senior officials and representatives of government authorities and business sectors from both sides.

Those at the committee’s meeting discussed economic co-operation and enhancing bilateral relations by concentrating on developing future co-operation in the nine major areas of agriculture, industry, renewable energy, tourism, the environment, water, communications, modern technology and air transport, as well as developing trade and investment exchanges and strengthening ties between the business communities in both countries.

During the meeting, both ministers highlighted the achievement since the last session of the joint committee, and in light of the visit of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to Azerbaijan on 2nd April, 2015, and the visit of Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, to the UAE on 2nd February, 2016.

The minutes of the meeting referred to several promising joint projects in the fields of logistical services, free trade zones and medical industries. One of the most prominent projects is an agreement signed by DP World, the Ministry of Economy in Azerbaijan and the Port of Baku on 7th September, 2016, to establish the Alyat Free Trade Zone in Azerbaijan, considered one of the most prominent success stories achieved by the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri highlighted the importance of the meetings of the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee, that witnessed regular sessions during the past eight years, translating the joint desire and mutual care to elevate the level of economic and technical co-operation between the two friendly countries.

He referred to the growing averages for trade exchange during recent years, as the total number of non-oil foreign trade between the two countries reached over US$605 million during 2015, including the free zone trade, while it increased during the first nine months of 2016 to $228 million.

He also said that the country has witnessed continuous annual growth in the size of direct foreign investment flows, which registered approximately $11 billion in 2015, despite the regional and international economic challenges. The UAE took the leading place among the Arab countries in receiving investments, in addition to its prominent position as the largest Arab investor outside the region.

The Azeri Minister of Economy said that Azerbaijan economy still largely relies on the oil sector, as its contributes 70% of the gross domestic product for the country.

He noted that the total size of Emirati investments in the Azeri market reached some $800 million, while the Azeri investments in the UAE stood at $300 million.



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