Baku. 3 April. REPORT.AZ/ Belgian companies can help in diversification of Azerbaijani economy.
Report informs, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Republic of Azerbaijan Bert Schoofs said at a meeting with delegation of Caspian Energy chaired by President and Editor-in-Chief of Caspian Energy International Media Group Natalya Aliyeva.
During the meeting they discussed the issues of participation of Belgian companies in the Caspian Energy Forum – 2017 to be hosted on April 12 in Baku, as well as prospects for expanding the informational cooperation within the framework of the Caspian European Club (Caspian Business Club), Caspian American Club and Caspian Energy International Media Group.
Noting that the Embassy’s main mission is to sustain the existing good relations between Azerbaijan and Belgium, Ambassador Schoofs reminded that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev paid a visit to Belgium on February 6. “President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and King Philippe of Belgium mainly talked about the economic cooperation. And, of course, the importance of the roadmap of the President of Azerbaijan was highlighted, because it is the important ambition to diversify the economy”, the Ambassador stressed.
According to Ambassador Schoofs, there is a need to diversify and also to attract foreign investors and foreign companies. “Our Heads of State understand that in a globalised world you have to be in front of everything, and diversification of economy is one of the main ambitions for Azerbaijan. So, Belgian companies can help in that. The President clearly invited Belgian companies to come to Azerbaijan”, Bert Schoofs said.
Ambassador Schoofs said Belgium is already present in different sectors in the non-oil and gas sector, for example, in logistics, healthcare, agriculture and construction sector of Azerbaijan.
“It is important that Azerbaijan presents itself to attract these companies, because we are living in much globalized world and I have to say that from time to time Belgian companies come here and ask me about Azerbaijan. So, I should be able to explain them the reasons why come to Azerbaijan”, he continued.
He said travelling to Azerbaijan became much easier thanks to the electronic visa. “It was a clear message that there was a tourism conference in Azerbaijan, and it was in Brussels last year. In tourism it is a very important to show your country”, he continued.
“One of the objectives of the President’s roadmap is to create an environment enabling SMEs to develop. Today SMEs are quite driven by technology. So, you need entrepreneurs that do not only do business, but also have experience and technology”, he said.
Speaking about the energy industry, Bert Schoofs stressed that the Southern Gas Corridor is a kind of road from the east to the west. “If you talk about the Southern Gas Corridor, Belgian companies are already investing in this project. 19% in TAP belongs to the Belgian company Fluxys”, the Ambassador said, noting that due to the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor Azerbaijan will also become a transit country.
In conclusion, the Ambassador gave his exclusive interview to Caspian Energy. In the interview he touched upon the possibility of developing the bilateral relations and enhancing the economic cooperation, and also spoke about development of the energy cooperation.