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This article was published on 31 October 2017 at 12:24 AM. It has 249 views so far.

Azerbaijan’s investments in the Turkish economy have reached $ 10.1 billion, according to Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev participating at the Azerbaijani-Turkish business forum in Igdir on October 29 as part of his visit to Turkey.

The minister said some 2,000 companies with Azerbaijani capital operating in Turkey, while the number of companies with Turkish capital accommodating in Azerbaijan reaches 3,000.

Saying that Turkish investments in Azerbaijan amounted to $11.7 billion, the minister drew attention to the fact that there is a great potential for the development of the relations in different spheres of the economy.

He stressed that the joint Azerbaijan and Turkey efforts will allow expand the economic cooperation and contribute to the wellbeing of the nations.

Speaking of the economic ties, Mustafayev reminded that the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council is operating between the countries. The minister stressed that Azerbaijan implements its strategic projects jointly with fraternal Turkey, among such projects are the Southern Gas Corridor, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan-Kars, the STAR refinery and others.

Mustafayev also reminded that Turkey and Azerbaijan are currently negotiating the Agreement on preferential trade.

During his speech at the forum, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci talked about various trade privileges that Turkey grants to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan borders with three countries including Turkey, Iran and Armenia.

“We have provided Nakhchivan with unilateral opportunities and privileges, and we want Nakhchivan to be regarded as an area of benefit and focus in the economic sense.”

He said that Turkey freed the import of goods from Nakhchivan from customs duties and now products will be imported into Turkey without import duties and on preferential terms.

“We will make one-sided generosity to allow Nakhchivan to sell more products to Turkey,” he said.

The decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkey will affect 43 products (13 agricultural products, 30 industrial products). According to the decision of the Turkish government, goods produced annually in Nakhchivan worth $120 million will be imported to Turkey without paying import duties and the trade will be done in Turkish liras.

In accordance with an agreement reached between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, trade volume worth $200 million will be created in the region.

“This decision will bring a significant contribution to the development of the region and trade relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey,” said the Turkish minister.

This privilege given to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic by Turkey is not given to any country in the world, which is a more convenient and privileged trade environment than the one provided for Cyprus, said Zeybekchi.

The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which forms the sole link between Turkey and Azerbaijan, has a specific place in terms of the bilateral relations of the two countries. Nakhchivan is physically separate from Azerbaijan can be described as “Turkish Gate”, which forms the point of direct connection between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Data of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan shows that the trade turnover with Turkey in January-September 2017 amounted to almost $1.96 billion. According to the results of the reporting period, Turkey is the second trade partner of Azerbaijan in terms of commodity turnover.

The contractual base of bilateral Turkish-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations includes more than 40 documents aimed at expanding economic cooperation between states. The two countries are successfully cooperating in the political, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural spheres.

Azerbaijan and Turkey have good and developing economic ties, especially in terms of huge energy projects envisaging the transportation of Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon resources to the European and world markets through the Turkey’s territory.

Today, the two brotherly states are the beneficiaries of all the major projects in the region, in particular the Southern Gas Corridor, which comprises TANAP and TAP projects, as well as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

Turkey primarily exports iron and steel products, various finished products, electronics, furniture, plastic products to Azerbaijan.

Natural gas accounts for 85 percent of Turkey’s import from Azerbaijan. Aside from the natural gas, Turkey imports non-ferrous metals, chemical industry products, plastic products from Azerbaijan.