Turkey, Azerbaijan: one old friend is better than two new ones

By: Emil Ismayilov

Today the attention of politicians and economists around the world, including Azerbaijan, is focused on Turkey. The course of confrontation between the West and Russia, the fate of tens of billions of dollars in investments, and major projects of the 21st century depend on Turkey’s decision and further actions.

And today Turkey is considering its choices. There are plenty of options and offers to choose from. Russia has already made its offer – gas and discounts on fuel for Ankara. Europe also acted with the intent to accelerate the process of Turkey’s joining the European Union. However, the implementation of these proposals is yet to be decided.

Construction of the new pipeline requires huge investments, and it remains a question whether Russia will take such a step in terms of sanctions and declining oil prices. Official negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU have been being held for about 10 years, and they have been so far fruitless.

What does Azerbaijan have to offer? It already has made investments, created new jobs and a offers real contribution to the development of the Turkish economy for decades to come. The SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) will continue to implement projects in Turkey and its overall investments in this country (along with the Trans-Anatolian pipeline) will reach $20 billion, the head of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev said Dec.8.

Up to this point in time, Azerbaijan has invested in the Turkish economy up to $5 billion.

Today, Azerbaijan is with SOCAR the largest foreign investor in Turkey, and future investments will exceed investments of depositors over the decades.

Azerbaijan has significantly strengthened its position in the developing energy market of Turkey. SOCAR owns Petkim petrochemical complex, is constructing a new refinery, a new container port and will lay TANAP gas pipeline. The construction of a new power plant will start in this zone in the near future.

SOCAR Energy Turkey, which is a subsidiary of the State Oil Company in Turkey, is aiming to be the largest industrial company in Turkey with a total turnover of which will hit $15 billion in 2018 and $30 billion in 2023.

Despite Russia’s desire to expand its economic relations with Turkey and its plans to get access to this country’s market, Azerbaijan maintains its consistent position in further work in Turkey’s energy market and in the implementation of large projects there through SOCAR. The implementation of all these projects requires multi-billon dollars worth of investments and Azerbaijan doesn’t intend to abandon this path.

Today, Azerbaijan, which maintains partner relations both with Turkey, EU and Russia, gives top priority to the economic feasibility of participation in projects for the long term.

However, the Turkish direction is traditional for Azerbaijan and it has repeatedly proved its effectiveness, and Azerbaijan doesn’t intend to deprive itself of this effectiveness.