India-Azerbaijan sign protocol on trade, economic cooperation

Oct 13, 2018 14:02 IST
India-Azerbaijan sign protocol on trade, economic cooperation

India and Azerbaijan signed a protocol on trade and economic, science and technology cooperation on October 12, 2018, during the 5th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation (IA-IGC) that was held from October 11-12, 2018 in New Delhi.

The meeting was co-chaired by Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Government of Republic of Azerbaijan, Mukhtar Babayev.

Key Highlights

During the meeting, both India and Azerbaijan exchanged views on current economic situation and reviewed the current status of bilateral trade, investment and their cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, science and technology.

The nations emphasised to further strengthen and expand their cooperation in trade and investment, transportation, energy and hydro-carbons, SMEs, agriculture, food safety and environmental protection, tourism, culture, health and pharmaceuticals, space technology, education and scientific research, chemicals and petrochemicals and mining.

The trade turnover between India and Azerbaijan in January-August 2018 was USD 657.9 million.

The two nations felt that the bilateral trade was far below the potential and there was a need to step up the cooperation to enlarge the trade basket and increase bilateral trade and investment.

The two nations also agreed to take measures to enhance trade relations and expand business relations between the two countries.

The nations also decided to send trade delegations to raise awareness regarding economic developments and reforms in the two countries and have regular exchange of information about trade exhibitions, fairs, conferences and other business events.

They also agreed to convene the next meeting of the India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Science and Technology co-operation in Baku.

The dates for the meeting will be mutually agreed through diplomatic channels.

India-Azerbaijan Relations

India and Azerbaijan have age-old historical relations and shared traditions.

India's diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan were established on February 28, 1992. The Indian resident mission was opened in Baku in March 1999 and Azerbaijan opened its first resident mission in New Delhi in October, 2004.

Agreements signed

An agreement on economic and technical cooperation was signed in June, 1998.

Air service agreement and a protocol of intergovernmental commission were signed in April 2012.

Agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in civil and  commercial matters, MLAT in criminal matters and extradition treaty were signed in April 2013.

A protocol on cooperation between the foreign ministries of India and Azerbaijan was signed in May 2013.

Besides, agreements on visa exemption regime for diplomatic, official and service passport holders, bilateral investments, double taxation avoidance, cultural, tourism and educational cooperation are under discussions.

Trade

  • India’s bilateral trade with Azerbaijan has been growing steadily in recent years. India’s pharmaceutical sector is well known in Azerbaijan and many Indian pharmaceutical companies are represented in Azerbaijan either through their own representative offices or through tie ups with local dealers.
  • The main items of direct and indirect export from India include clothes and textiles, tea, meat, food processing equipment, electronic cards, boilers and other plant equipment. The primary import of India from Azerbaijan is crude oil.
  • A few Indian manufactured automobiles and mobile telephone handsets made their debut into Azerbaijan in 2010.
  • Azerbaijan has proven natural gas reserves of about 2.55 billion cubic meters, while proven oil reserves was estimated at 2 billion tones.
  • In 2012, Indian software development companies were given contracts by Azerbaijani banks and insurance companies. Some engineering consultancy companies have bagged projects in the cement and power sector respectively.
  • Coming to the Indian Diaspora in Azerbaijan, there are about 400 Indian residents in the nation.

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