Italian Investments in Azerbaijan Reach $530 Mil

The total amount that Italian companies have invested in Azerbaijan amounts to approximately $530 million, said the Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev, during a July 19 meeting with Italy’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Michele Geraci in Baku. Mustafayev also noted that Azerbaijani investors have an estimated $135 million in Italy. Italy was Azerbaijan’s number one trading partner in the first half of 2018, with a trade volume of $1.651 billion from January to May of this year.

"Azerbaijan is interested in the actualization of the existing potential and development of economic relations between the countries. Italian technologies are used in a number of enterprises operating in Azerbaijan. We can also import technologies for such areas as agriculture and industry. In addition, Italian companies can take part in investment projects in Azerbaijan, invest in industrial parks and quarters, agricultural parks and logistics centers and take advantage of the opportunities of such projects as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the Baku international sea trade port, as well as the free economic zone to be established in the village of Alat,” said Mustafayev.

During the meeting, the Azerbaijani side highlighted the strong political relationship between Azerbaijan and Italy and their history of successful economic cooperation. Mustafayev underlined the importance of continued mutual visits in the maintenance and further development of good relations. The participation of the respective countries’ heads of state in the Azerbaijani-Italian Business Forum, within the framework of the visit of Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Azerbaijan, reflects the great importance of bilateral relations. Mattarella visited Georgia last week with his delegation, attending a similar Georgian-Italian Business forum in Tbilisi.

Mustafayev pointed out that Azerbaijani relations are developing successfully in a number of sectors of the economy, drawing attention to a polypropylene plant built on the SOCAR Polymer project in cooperation with Italy's Maire Tecnimont in the Sumqayit Chemical Industrial Park as a vivid example of economic cooperation.

Mustafayev also noted the potential for expanding economic relations between the two countries, including energy, agriculture, industry, trade, investment, transport, and ecology. “Azerbaijan is interested in realizing this potential and developing economic relations between our countries. Italian technology is used in a number of enterprises operating in our country. Nevertheless, modern equipment can be imported from Italy for use in agriculture and industry,” said Mustafayev.

The Minister of Economy invited Italian companies to participate in joint investment projects in Azerbaijan, including industrial parks, agro-parks, and logistics centers. Speaking about Azerbaijan's broad transport infrastructure and transit potential, Mustafayev stressed that Italian companies can benefit from the potential of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the Baku International Sea Trade Port, as well as the Special Economic Zone that will be created in Alat.

Geraci confirmed that Azerbaijan is an important country for Italy, noting successful cooperation between the two countries in various fields of the economy. He echoed the desire to continue to deepen and expand the ties between Italy and Azerbaijan. During the meeting, the sides agreed to develop proposals for cooperation in specific areas of the economy.

By Samantha Guthrie

23 July 2018 18:56