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Monday, 04 July 2016 13:00

We are working on a possibility to open a Trading House in Baku – Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to Azerbaijan Aidjigit Buranov Featured

Caspian Energy (CE): Mr. Ambassador, what do you think about the current level of economic relations between the two countries? What prospects and potential for an increase in the trade turnover do you see?

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic to the Republic of Azerbaijan Aidjigit Buranov: Likein the past, currently the Kyrgyz-Azerbaijan bilateral cooperation is traditionally built on the mutually beneficial partnership, friendship and, in general, it is successfully developing in political, trade, economic, scientific-technical, cultural, humanitarian and other sectors. Due to the results of the official visit of President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev to Azerbaijan in 2012 and the high level of personal relations of the two leaders, our interstate relations feature mutual trust, close stances on many important international and regional issues of mutual interest.

Unfortunately, in 2015 Azerbaijan as an exporter of energy resources faced the effects of the sharp drop in global oil prices. The strengthened dollar and increased value of imported goods have badly affected the economic activity of the country. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan successfully maintains the stability of economy and does not scale down the initiated social programs as well as host big international events in Baku.

However, the decline in the economic activity in Azerbaijan to some extent negatively affected the progressive development of the trade and economic cooperation between Bishkek and Baku.

Despite the difficult economic situation and the tragedy at Gunashli platform in the Caspian, last year in December the leadership of Azerbaijan rendered humanitarian assistance worth over 72 million soms to the residents of the Osh region affected by the earthquake.

One of the key points for a further development and deepening of the bilateral relations between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan is a diversification of the economic cooperation with the considerable potential.

The volume of foreign trade turnover between the two countries rose to 25.8 million in 2014 due to the fact that Kyrgyzstan purchased sugar, olive and sunflower oils, vegetable fats from Azerbaijan.

The volume of foreign trade turnover between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan substantially decreased in 2016. Thus, the existing investment and trade-economic ties between the countries do not correspond to their real capacity.

 

CE: Which prospects for expanding the Azerbaijan-Kyrgyzstan cooperation in the non-oil sector do you see? 

Aidjigit Buranov: It appears that one of the objective obstacles to trade between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan is a poor knowledge of the needs of each other's markets, long distances and the lack of properly established ways of delivery of goods and services. Weareworking over creation of a trading house in Azerbaijan, which in future will help to ensure further market survey in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan, enable companies to raise the volume of goods turnover between our states and expand bilateral cooperation. If this project is successful and we manage to attract big Kyrgyz companies and firms to this project, then in future we will be able to create such form of cooperation for other organizations of Central Asian countries through which the trade routes get into Azerbaijan.  Azerbaijan’s market is of interest to Kyrgyzstan and diversified.

Apart from this, implementation of the decisions of the Kyrgyz-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Commission plays a crucial role for development of trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation. Moreover, the implementation of the large industrial project in Kyrgyzstan with participation of the Azerbaijan capital, creation of joint ventures for processing of agricultural products will also contribute to the deepening of the bilateral relations. Addressing the issue of export of products of Kyrgyz and Azerbaijani enterprises to Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan, mutual participation of Kyrgyz and Azerbaijan companies and firms in trade fairs in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as education of the Kyrgyz and Azerbaijan youth in the universities of Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan have to strengthen our bilateral relations even more.

 

CE: Kyrgyzstan is a member country of the Eurasian Economic Union. What benefits does the domestic economy enjoy from the membership in the EEU? What impact does the membership in the EEU have on the economic cooperation with Azerbaijan?

Aidjigit Buranov: Kyrgyzstan has been the member country in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) for ten months (since August 12, 2015). Between now and then the number of tourists, visiting Kyrgyz Republic, has almost doubled. The new rules have boosted the export of agricultural products and goods of the clothing industry. In the near future the scope of problems during transportation of meat products abroad is going to narrow. Veterinary control will be removed after the phytosanitary control.

The freights transportation across the border has also increased. Imports have surged by almost 30%. The procedure of reception and registration has been notably simplified.

We believe that Kyrgyzstan’s membership in the EEU does not affect and will not affect in any way the development of the trade and economic cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. For example, Azerbaijan is successfully cooperating with the EEU member countries - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, creation of Kyrgyz-Azerbaijani joint ventures in Kyrgyzstan will be of interest to Azerbaijan as it is possible to ensure custom-free shipment of their finished products to all EEU countries.

 

CE:  Do you see a potential of mutual investments?

Aidjigit Buranov: We are perfectly aware of big economic, technical and investment potential of fraternal Azerbaijan. Therefore, the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic is working to bring national projects to the attention of official and business circles of Azerbaijan and ensure practical implementation of the National Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2013-2017. In order to attract investments into our republic the Embassy regularly informs the Azerbaijani side about conduction of auctions for development of coal, gold and rare earth metal fields in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.

In particular, it involves such fields as Bazarkorgon, Akbaltyr, facilities of Ak-Suysk district, Terekkan, Min-Kush, Suluktinskoye #12, Sredniy Chanachm, Tegene, Chakushskoye, Kara-Keche, etc. Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in Azerbaijan regularly brings this information to the attention of ministries and agencies of the hosting party. Meetings are held with companies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to arrange a joint presentation of investment capabilities of the Kyrgyz Republic. Embassy of Kyrgyzstan in Azerbaijan is constantly searching potential investors for the economy of Kyrgyzstan among representatives of business circles of the host country.

The work is carried out among large holdings of Azerbaijan in order to attract them for opening of agricultural product processing facilities in Kyrgyzstan.

 

CE:  What are your expectations from the Great Silk Way, given the important geographical location of Kyrgyzstan on this route?

Aidjigit Buranov: Geographical location of Kyrgyzstan has predetermined its ranking place on the Great Silk Road. Kyrgyzstan played an important role in the Great Silk Road owing to the city of Osh, the main city located in the south of modern Kyrgyzstan. For many millenniums it had been a transit city of the Ferghan branch of the Great Silk Road because of the geographically favorable location. As a favorable place for trade and exchange of goods, Osh attracted traders, craftsmen, cattle-breeders and farmers.

“Belt and Road” initiative put forward by China (Economic belt of the Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century) will not only bring Asian and European markets together, but also will help the countries located along the “Belt and road” to integrate into the global economy. As a result, many states will benefit from integration into the European, Asian and global economy.

 

Thank you for the interview

 Interview made by Sabina Mammadova, Emil Mammadov

 

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