Azerbaijan to invest $20 bln in Turkey

By: Aynur Jafarova

Azerbaijan will invest about $20 billion in the Turkish economy over the next eight years, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Turkey said.

Faig Baghirov made the remark at the Anatolian presentation meeting held by Council of Foreign Trade Relations and Turkish-Azerbaijani Business Council under the Industry Chamber of the Aegeus region.

Speaking at the event, Baghirov noted Turkey ranks first in foreign economic relations of Azerbaijan.

During the meeting, the participants were discussing the investment opportunities of the two countries.

Baghirov said the trade turnover between the two neighboring countries stood at $3.3 billion. He stressed the importance of bringing this figure to $15 billion.

“Azerbaijan will invest $20 billion in Turkey in the next eight years. This will become Azerbaijan’s largest investment abroad. The majority of this investment will be made in the Izmir region,” he said.

Noting that currently the investment is mainly made in the energy sector, Baghirov stressed the importance of diversifying investment in the non-oil sector as well.

“Joint work in areas such as agriculture, chemical and manufacturing industries, tourism, alternative energy, transportation, logistics, and information technology will facilitate the development of the economies of the two countries,” he added.

Azerbaijan and Turkey’s relations have always been strong due to their common culture and history and the mutual intelligibility of Turkish and Azerbaijani languages.

Turkey was the first country in the world to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991 and has been a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan in its efforts to consolidate its independence, preserve its territorial integrity, and realize its economic potential that arises from the rich natural resources of the Caspian Sea.

The countries share a short 8 kilometer-border, with the Aras River separating Turkey from the Nakhchivan exclave.

Economic projects, jointly implemented by Azerbaijan and Turkey, are bringing these countries together and strengthening their cooperation. These two countries are connected by several important regional projects, including the Baku-Supsa, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas line, and TANAP.

Azerbaijan and Turkey’s economies and cooperation have reached a high level. SOCAR is one of the world’s most well-established oil companies, active in Turkey since May 30, 2008. SOCAR is involved in a number of major investment projects in Turkey, including the construction of TANAP, Star refinery, and others. The volume of investment of SOCAR in Turkey’s economy will reach $5 billion by late 2014.