Ministry of Agriculture, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency
Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Embassy of Azerbaijan to the United States
Embassy of the United States to Azerbaijan
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA)
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Azerbaijan State News Agency
Public Television (Azerbaijan)
Kapital Bank Azerbaijan
On November 8, the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, USAID/Azerbaijan, Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry co-organized the inaugural Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum which brought together more than 100 experts, private sector executives/representatives, agribusiness manufacturers, as well as government agricultural authorities from the state of Oklahoma and Azerbaijan.
A delegation of 18 Azerbaijani companies and organizations, a total of 24 mission members, led by Azerbaijan’s Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Inam Karimov, traveled to Oklahoma to take part in the Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum. According to the survey conducted by the USACC and partner organizations following the forum, the Oklahoma forum resulted in strong ties between Azerbaijan’s agricultural sector and farmers, agribusinesses and those in the state of Oklahoma.
The forum convened with welcoming remarks by USACC Acting Executive Director, Mr. Natig Bakhishov. He thanked the forum attendees and acknowledged sponsors and other contributors to the forum.
Mr. Reza Vaziri, USACC Co-Chairman and Dr. Alexander Sokolowski, Deputy Assistant Administrator USAID delivered opening remarks on behalf of the organizers. They both expressed their willingness to continue to contribute to the direct trade and business linkages between Azerbaijan and individual U.S. States.
Oklahoma Governor H.E. Kevin Stitt spoke on behalf of the state and praised the initiative of bringing together Azerbaijani and Oklahoma businesses. He expressed his readiness to travel to Azerbaijan in support of further promoting business and trade between the two states.
Following the Governor, Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Inam Karimov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States, H.E. Elin Suleymanov and Congressman Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma 2nd District delivered remarks.
In honor of the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Inam Karimov’s leadership in and contribution to promoting agribusiness ties between Azerbaijan and individual U.S. states, USACC granted a USACC Leadership Award to Minister Karimov.
Discussions started following the formal session and held by 4 panels with 5 speakers per panel.
The Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Forum covered practices in farm management, regulation, and promotion across a wide range of crops and products, with a special focus on animal husbandry and livestock. It was the second forum of its kind after the First Illinois-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum, which brought together agricultural producers and policymakers from the U.S. and Azerbaijan.
In addition to the conference, the forum program also included field trips to leading American farm and agribusiness processing operations, agricultural input and machinery manufacturers and dealers, education and research institutions.
On November 6, following breakfast discussions with Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Ms. Blayne Arthur, Minister Karimov and Oklahoma City Mayor, David Holt, the Trade Mission members toured Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, Oklahoma State University and Reproduction Enterprises, Inc. in Stillwater, OK.
The next day, Azerbaijani delegation toured Oklahoma’s National Stockyards and Murphy Products in Oklahoma City, OK. They also visited cattle operations & pasture lands operated by Payne Cattle Company and Growing Paynes Garden agritourism operation in Mustang, OK
On November 7, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce hosted Azerbaijani delegation for a formal reception at the Oklahoma Historic Center in Oklahoma City, OK, which was attended by Oklahoma state officials, federal congressmen and representatives of local businesses.
Meeting with Secretary Blayne Arthur
On November 6, Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Inam Karimov and Secretary of Agriculture, Ms. Blayne Arthur held a bilateral discussion on Oklahoma-Azerbaijan agriculture ties. The discussion focused on issues pertaining to market-entry regulations and business incentives in both markets.
Minister Karimov expressed Azerbaijan’s readiness and willingness to explore business opportunities in Oklahoma and to facilitate direct agriculture ties between the two states.
Following the meeting, both officials spoke with the First Oklahoma Ag Network's Sam Knipp in a radio interview, where Minister Karimov spoke about bilateral trade, American machinery in Azerbaijani agriculture and government incentives for the agriculture sector. See the URL link to the radio interview: https://www.facebook.com/usacc.org/videos/2668569699868646/
Meeting with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt
On November 8, Minister Karimov met with Oklahoma Governor H.E. Kevin Stitt. Governor Stitt thanked the Minister and the delegation for visiting Oklahoma. He also thanked the USACC for initiating and organizing such an important event that brought together business and government representatives from Oklahoma and Azerbaijan.
USACC Co-Chair Mr. Reza Vaziri invited Governor Stitt and Oklahoma businesses to visit Azerbaijan in 2020. Governor Stitt responded by expressing willingness and interest to visit Azerbaijan this year. The parties agreed to organize the second Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum in Azerbaijan.
The meeting was attended by USACC Co-Chairman Mr. Reza Vaziri, USAID Mission Director Dr. Jaidev Singh, Deputy Assistant of USAID Administrator, Mr. Alexander Sokolowski, Adjutant General of Oklahoma National Guard Michael Thompson, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States H.E. Elin Suleymanov and Defense Attaché of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States Lieutenant Colonel Jafar Seyidov.
Meeting with Congressman Markwayne Mullin
On the same day, Minister Karimov had a separate meeting with U.S. Congressman Hon. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma 2nd District. The sides discussed trade and business ties between the United States and Azerbaijan. Both agreed that Oklahoma National Guard has played an important role in fostering bilateral relations between the two nations. Congressman Mullin praised Azerbaijan’s role in Central Eurasia and highlighted the long-established security cooperation between the United States and Azerbaijan.
Minister Karimov was joined by USACC Co-Chairman Mr. Reza Vaziri and Ambassador Elin Suleymanov.
Oklahoma State University and Azerbaijan State Agrarian University partnership document
On November 6, Oklahoma State University and Azerbaijan State Agrarian University signed a Memorandum of Understanding on future cooperation. The document was signed by Dr. Ibrahim Jafarov, Rector of Azerbaijan State Agrarian University and Dr. Gary Sandefur the Senior Vice President of Oklahoma State University.
The signing of the document, as part of the Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum, indicates that the parties agreed to discuss opportunities on initiating joint activities with an aim to develop academic and student exchange programs in the future.
Gadabay and the City of Stillwater signed document of cooperation
On November 8, the City of Stillwater, OK and Gadabay city of Azerbaijan signed a cooperation document as part of the Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum, marking the beginning of an economic and agricultural partnership between the two cities.
The document was signed by Head of Gadabay Executive Authority Ibrahim Mustafayev and Stillwater City Councilor Amy Dzialowski on the sidelines of the Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum.
“Developing this relationship with Gadabay means more opportunities for both cities. Networking and sharing ideas can strengthen our economies and promote cultural understanding” said Mrs. Dzialowski at the signing ceremony.
The Ceremony opened by the USACC Acting Executive Director Mr. Natig Bakhishov and followed by congratulatory remarks by USACC Co-Chairman, Mr. Reza Vaziri, Minister Inam Karimov, Ambassador Elin Suleymanov, Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID, Mr. Alexander Sokolowski and USAID Mission Director, Dr. Jaidev Singh.
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