27 Oct 2022 17:46
Azerbaijan interested in direct investments from EAEU states, expansion of trade relations
BAKU. Oct 27 (Interfax) – Azerbaijan is interested in direct investments from countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Azerbaijani First Deputy Economy Minister Elnur Aliyev said.
“Azerbaijan is interested in direct investments from countries part of the EAEU. Our country could become a platform for investments, and we’re ready for cooperation,” Aliyev said at the Verona Eurasian Economic Forum in Baku on Thursday.
Azerbaijan is also interested in expanding trade cooperation with EAEU countries, Aliyev said. “Azerbaijan’s turnover with these countries rose 14% in 2021 and 31% in the first nine months of 2022. On the whole, the relative share of EAEU countries in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade totals 8%,” he said.
First Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in December 2021 that there was a possibility of Azerbaijan joining the EAEU as an observer state. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk said that Azerbaijan would receive more benefits from cooperation with countries of the organization with observer status. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that it would only be possible for Azerbaijan to join the EAEU if it retains its economic sovereignty.
At the same time, there are issues that could have a negative impact to a certain degree, Elnur Aliyev said. “Among other things, the common customs tariffs could lead to the state effectively losing control over them, which could lead to negative consequences. This needs to be taken into account. Azerbaijan [in foreign economic relations] is pursuing a policy of developing bilateral relations in order to eliminate these negative aspects,” he said.
Forming a single financial market within the EAEU could have certain advantages, Aliyev said. “However, studies need to be carried out on how this will affect each country, the risks to service providers need to be taken into account. It’s also necessary to take into account political and economic challenges,” he said.
Azerbaijan is important as a transit country, Aliyev said. Cargo transit through Azerbaijan increased 65% in the first nine months of 2022, he said. “This speaks to a great deal of potential. Transit volumes within the framework of the North-South and East-West transport corridors will allow for transforming the country’s sea ports into international ones,” Aliyev said.
The total volume of freight traffic could reach 50 million tonnes per year in the future, he said.