Baku. 29 July. REPORT.AZ/ The launching of International North-South Transport Corridor which connects Indian ports with Azerbaijan and Russia through Iran is the project with highest potential for enhancement of business and trade in the region, Report informs, Deputy Foreign Minister of India Sujata Mehta told reporters.
"India and Azerbaijan enjoy close and friendly relations with growing cooperation in many areas like education, IT, science and technology, and culture. However, if we look at the level of bilateral ties from the economic dimension, the trade level is far low its potential.
S.Mehta said that the decline of trade is particular because of oil prices went down and imports from India also reduced. India would like to see more trade and commerce between the two countries, she said.
"In terms of bilateral ties in political dimension, I think we have good bases. We agree on a lot of issues. The geographical location of Azerbaijan, on the cross-roads of the North-South and West-West corridor, is a very important feature, which will lead to greater development of bilateral cooperation. Azerbaijan could be a bridge connecting Asia with Europe, so this is the area where we can work together on various issues", said Indian Deputy FM.
"Agriculture is another area where we plan to cooperate. Azerbaijan is keen to revive the cotton cultivation in the country. We can work together in this area”, she pointed out.
"India is also keenly interested in developing cooperation in Energy", S.Mehta said.
"At the same time we are interested in developing cooperation in energy sphere. India with its big population is one of the biggest consumer of energy”. Indian company ONGC-Videsh holds share in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. “But we should not be limited only to oil and gas. There is a potential to cooperate in the area of renewable energy", she added.
Speaking about possibility of launching direct flights, S.Mehta said this would be of a great interest for growth of tourism. “Another issue is that visa procedures take too long time. With easy visa procedures, and direct flight, the tourism between India and Azerbaijan could be developed very well."