Baku urges foreign companies to curb illegal activities in Armenian-occupied lands

By: Sara Rajabova

Despite Baku’s constant efforts to prevent illegal activities by foreign companies and individuals in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, some companies continue to engage in such activities.

Most of these companies are based in Europe, including Germany, according to recent reports.

At the fifth meeting of the Azerbaijani-German high level working group on trade and investment, held in Berlin, representatives of the German government said the country would evaluate the activities of these German companies and organizations in the occupied territories, Azerbaijan’s economic development ministry reported.

The meeting was chaired by the Head of Staff of the Azerbaijan Economic Development Ministry Samir Veliyev and Director General for Foreign Economic Policy of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Eckhard Franz.

The Azerbaijani side stressed the need to curb the illegal activities of these companies.

Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal, and individuals who pay such visits are included on the Foreign Ministry’s “black list.”

Baku has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats against unauthorized visits to territories under Armenian occupation, stating that such visits violate international law. The country urges all foreign nationals to refrain from traveling to the occupied territories in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani delegation further stressed the negative impact of a biased resolution adopted by the German Bundestag in June on the development of cooperation between the two countries.

The current state of economic and trade relations between Azerbaijan and Germany, the work conducted after the fourth meeting of the working group, further expansion of economic relations, and the possibility of German companies’ participation in the industrial parks in Azerbaijan were also discussed at the meeting.

Both sides noted that to date, Germany’s investments in fixed assets in Azerbaijan exceeded $475 million, while investments in the non-oil sector amounted to $345.2 million.

During the meeting, it was also noted that there are currently 183 German companies in Azerbaijan, which are also actively involved in local projects as contractors.

The German side expressed the interest of German companies in starting new projects in several sectors and noted that the corresponding proposals would be submitted to Azerbaijani companies through the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce.

In January-September 2015, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Germany amounted to $1.53 billion, some $1.01 billion of which came from exports of Azerbaijani goods, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.


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