"The foundation laid today is already giving an impetus for the work to start. The initial work has already been planned, 60 out of 850 hectares have already been designed and detailed design work has been completed. Starting from today, construction work will begin along with infrastructure projects, a business center, a customs checkpoint and other necessary sites will be built. I think that in about a year, starting from July next year, we will be ready to receive investors", said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in an interview with Azerbaijan Television, APA reports.
"Until then, the leaders of the Free Economic Zone will hold various events both in the country and abroad. Presentations should be made and direct contacts with potential investors should be established. At the same time, representatives of the Free Economic Zone will be sent to different countries and potential investors will be invited here from abroad. Also, I am telling our embassies in foreign countries to inform potential investors about the establishment of this zone during their contacts. We have intergovernmental commissions with many countries. I am also telling heads of these commissions to ensure that the Free Economic Zone are represented at the meetings of such commissions and that this issue is on the agenda. I want to say this again because we have such commissions with many countries. But when analyzing the work of these commissions, I see that foreign companies usually try to act more as contractors in Azerbaijan. In other words, they mostly want to make money in Azerbaijan – this is what it means. We do not mind that because we are attracting foreign contractors even to the liberated lands now. But we want foreign investors to invest in Azerbaijan. Public investment has already played its role. We have implemented all major infrastructure projects. Of course, large-scale construction work is now under way on the liberated lands. This will lead to a major economic recovery. But we must understand that without direct foreign investment, our country cannot develop the way we want. Therefore, the intergovernmental commissions with other countries should, first of all, try to attract funds to Azerbaijan from abroad. I think this zone can be of interest to potential investors.
So in one year, in July next year, the zone will be ready to receive investors. I am sure that we will see the pictures shown here being reflected in real life. So far, all our initiatives and plans have been reflected in real life. There has not been a single initiative that was not implemented.
The most difficult projects, transnational projects, the projects we have implemented in a very difficult geopolitical situation have been successfully completed. There is no need to list them because everyone knows what I am talking about. Therefore, I am sure that the establishment of this zone will be yet another step towards our success", the President said.