Baku hosted an Azerbaijani-Austrian business forum

An Azerbaijani-Austrian business forum was held on May 16 in Baku within the framework of a regular meeting of the Joint Commission on Economic, Agricultural, Industrial, Technical, and Technological Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Austria.

Organized by the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Agency - AZPROMO with the support of the Azerbaijani Ministries of Economy and Digital Development and Transport, the business forum was attended by officials from Azerbaijan and Austria along with up to 70 business people from both countries representing the packaging industry, road infrastructure improvement and safety, air transport management, logistics, consulting services, construction, pipe production, renewable energy and hydropower, information technology, mechanical engineering, the chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, and other sectors.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Azerbaijan's Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev said that the business forum will be useful for the further expansion of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Austria. Emphasizing the important role of the private sector in the development of trade and investment relations between the two countries, Rashad Nabiyev expressed confidence that the forum will provide new opportunities for mutual investments.

Yusif Abdullayev, Acting Executive Director of AZPROMO, spoke about the favorable business and investment climate in Azerbaijan, measures taken in the country to ensure the development of the non-oil sector, economic diversification, encouragement of private sector development, expansion of exports, promotion of the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand, encouragement of foreign investments, and the efforts made to constantly improve the business environment and opportunities to expand the Azerbaijani-Austrian economic cooperation.

The head of AZPROMO informed about the dynamic development of relations between Azerbaijan and Austria. He added that the reciprocal visits of two countries' leaders and other officials play an important role in the establishment of friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Austria. He noted that this cooperation has resulted in Azerbaijan and Austria becoming reliable partners.

It was noted that the volume of trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria in 2021 amounted to $221 million, with exports reaching $140 million, and imports amounting to $81 million. This led to a surplus of $65 million. Compared to the previous year, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria increased by 14.5%, while export grew by 9.7% and imports by 23.8%. In the first quarter of this year, the two countries have demonstrated a positive trend in trade turnover. So, in January-March of the current year, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria reached $70.5 million, with exports reaching $56 million and imports amounting to $10.8 million. The trade balance surplus stood at $45.2 million. As compared to the same period of last year, trade turnover between the two countries has increased 5.8 times, with exports increasing 43.1 times and imports decreasing by 25.5%.

Speaking at the event, Vice President of Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Richard Schenz focused on the areas of development of trade and economic relations between Azerbaijani and Austrian business communities and noted the role of effective use of existing opportunities in the development of bilateral ties.

Presentations on the business and investment climate in Azerbaijan and Austria were held during the business forum. Chairman of the Board of Alat Free Economic Zone Valeh Aleskerov informed the participants about the main goals of creating the economic zone and its future objectives.

Discussions took place in a business-to-business (B2G) format to ensure effective and targeted bilateral meetings between Azerbaijani and Austrian companies. The business forum continued its work with bilateral meetings held by businessmen.