Saudi-Azerbaijan Joint Commission seeks to bolster bilateral links


The fourth meeting of the joint commission between the Kingdom and Azerbaijan held here on Tuesday sought to bolster bilateral cooperation when delegations from both sides exchanged views and information on the current economic situation in respective countries and reviewed the current status of cooperation.
Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Gov. Abdullatif Al-Othman, who represented the Saudi side at the joint commission, and Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijan’s minister of economy and industry, jointly chaired the session during which the two sides explored strategies to deepen the economic and commercial relationship between the two countries. They noted the religious, cultural and intellectual histories shared by both the countries.
Speaking at the joint commission meeting, Al-Othman said: “I am very pleased to welcome our friends from Azerbaijan as our two countries continue to expand our cooperation in a number of areas, including trade and investment.”
He pointed that the input from the private sector and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has given a road-map for increasing the bilateral commercial activity.
“I believe the determination shown from both sides to implement these recommendations heralds a closer and mutually beneficial future for both Azerbaijan and the Kingdom,” he noted.
In an exclusive talk with Arab News, the SAGIA governor said that the meeting was very positive and both sides agreed on the need to increase the volume of bilateral trade exchanges in terms of quantity as well as quality, and work for better coordination in order to facilitate the procedure for the entry of goods and products.
He said: “A very high representation from Azerbaijan came for the joint commission meeting where we discussed specific action plans and key issues of mutual benefits to further bolster cooperation. There is a need for us to take advantage of what our economies offer.”
He added: “There are opportunities for us to collaborate in petrochemicals, agriculture, tourism, education, health care and culture. We have a historic relationship with Azerbaijan and the entire central Asian countries,” he maintained.
In a reply, he said the joint business council is one of the specific plans in the agenda.
Addressing the joint session, Mustafayev said: “I am very pleased to co-chair this year’s joint committee focused on increasing bilateral exports, strengthening investment channels and removing barriers to further enhance cooperation that help in the creation of a joint working group on oil, gas and mining and enhance joint investments.”
He added that the session will build upon the work of the last meeting of the committee where “we made progress on eliminating double taxation and improved the linkages for bilateral investment. Despite starting at a low level, commercial exchanges between our countries have been on the rise, reaching almost $ 400 million to date invested in Azerbaijan by Saudi enterprises. We look forward to strengthening this relationship to build more bridges between the countries of the Islamic world,” he underlined.
Notably, the two sides at this 4th joint commission agreed to organize mutual business forums, exchange of information on exhibitions, conferences and business events in both countries and invite each business community from both the countries in order to help expand trade relations, increase the volume of trade, increase visits between businessmen from the two countries and explore the feasibility and benefits of establishing a Saudi-Azerbaijan joint business council.
Moreover, the two sides noted the importance of the current cooperation level between the security organs of the two countries and agreed on organizing mutual business visits of the heads of the services, and reviewing matters for ensuring security of the big economic projects to be held in the region and international events of OIC countries.
Furthermore, the Saudi Fund for Development (SDF) would like to extend cooperation between Saudi export program and the central bank of Azerbaijani federation for exchange, information and access to credit reports for Azerbaijani banks and companies and with Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce to introduce the financing facilities provided by the Saudi export program in order to achieve the contribution toward bilateral trade development.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the SAGIA governor and the visiting minister signed the minutes of the joint commission meeting.


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