Azerbaijan, Japan mull economic cooperation

By: Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan and Japan have discussed the prospects for developing the economic relations between the two countries.

The discussions were held between Azerbaijan’s Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev and Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization, Total Reform of Social Security and Tax, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Akira Amari, in Baku on October 26.

During the meeting Mustafayev hailed the Azerbaijani-Japanese ties as “successful” in various fields.

Touching upon the development of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan he said that “there are great opportunities for moving our cooperation on this front forward.”

“Azerbaijan and Japan could cooperate in chemical industry, steel production, pharmaceutics and agricultural production,” he added.

Amari, in turn, underlined the significance of the meetings to be held as part of his visit to Azerbaijan, and shared his views on economic cooperation prospects.

The meeting also featured a presentation on opportunities of the bilateral cooperation in the fields of chemical industry, metallurgy, pharmaceutics and agriculture.

The Japanese delegation headed by Akira Amani was earlier received by President Ilham Aliyev as well.

President Aliyev appraised bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Japan and expressed hope that the visit of the Japanese delegation would be another step towards developing the bilateral ties and would create good opportunities in terms of defining areas of cooperation.

He also noted with pleasure the fact that the Japanese delegation included businessmen from big companies.

The head of state stressed the significance of long-term successful operation of Japanese companies in Azerbaijan, their huge investments in the country’s energy sector, as well as the implementation of a number of important projects through loans allocated by Japan.

The sides exchanged views over the issues related to the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Japan in energy, petrochemical, educational, healthcare, agricultural and other sectors.

Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Japan were established in 1992. Relations between the two countries have continued to develop steadily. Japan was one of the first countries to support Azerbaijan’s forward-looking oil strategy.

Today two major Japanese companies Itochu and Impex are involved in the Contract of the Century. Leaders of Japanese business, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Marubeni, and Sojits are involved in energy and infrastructure projects in the country.

Azerbaijan is considering further cooperation with Japan in the field of high technology, particularly in the field of manufacture of innovative production, with their further entering the regional markets.

So far, Japanese companies were involved mainly in projects in the energy sector, but in recent years their interests to cooperate in areas such as petrochemicals, oil refining, energy, medicine, high-tech and space industry have increased.