The head of state noted that the opportunities in this field are also should be considered: “I’m sure the businessmen will discuss this issue. On the other side, our companies may participate in the infrastructural projects in Croatia. At the same time, we can invite Croatian companies to Azerbaijan. We cannot say today that many Croatian companies operate in Azerbaijan. But taking into account the dynamic development, we would invite the Croatian companies to Azerbaijan”.
President Aliyev said that Croatia has an experience in tourism: “At the yesterday’s discussion, the Croatian president gave an interesting information to be about the number of tourists. We are also able to develop tourism in Azerbaijan. Tourism is not a traditional sector for us, however, as we are pursuing diversification policy, we are interested in expansion of tourism. Number of tourists has already increased. This may also be a topic of discussion at the forum”.
The head of state said that Azerbaijan invests large amount of capital in the agriculture: “We export wide range of agricultural products. Discussion on IT, education may also be held. Generally, there are some issues on our agenda. However, I think, we are also interested in the issues of trade, import and export operations, capital investment and participation of Azerbaijani companies in Croatia”.
Ilham Aliyev also spoke about the energy policy: “Azerbaijan and Croatia signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor, construction of pipeline in Adriatic Sea will allow us to enter Croatian and Balkan markets. These countries will be allowed to purchase natural gas from Azerbaijan and get a new source. Proven gas reserves of Azerbaijan make up 2.5 trillion cubic meters. However, natural gas reserves will increase because the exploration works are still underway. We diversified the export and have several gas pipelines. The main route is now being constructed. The Southern Gas Corridor includes four projects and each of them are being implemented. Shahdeniz is one of the major gas sources in the world, we’ll start to develop the Stage 2. Along with this, three pipelines are being constructed towards Europe. The last stage is Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). This pipeline is close to the region where Croatia is located. We may engage in stretching that pipeline to that region. We’ll discuss this issue. This is a project of safety and energy diversification. All parties will benefit. Because we get access to the European market, the European consumers get additional sources. We know that Europe’s need for gas is increasing. And we are a new source and offer new export route. This is our advantage. Along with this, we signed a contract with the European Commission on strategic partnership in energy five years ago”.
The president also noted that Azerbaijan starts negotiations with the EU on strategic partnership: “Construction of gas pipeline will also cover strategic cooperation with Croatia. Energy is a significant field in cooperation of Azerbaijan with European institutions and EU member states. Our neighboring countries are also actively participating in these projects”.