U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC
U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan
On May 21-26, 2007, the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) will host its 2nd annual trade mission to the Republic of Azerbaijan for U.S. firms in the food and agriculture sector. The trade mission will feature a host of field visits to food and agricultural facilities in Azerbaijan, meetings with senior level and local government officials and industry representatives, including special luncheons with regional governors, city mayors, the minister of agriculture and the minister of economic development.
Trade mission participants will visit the regions of Azerbaijan that focus on food and agriculture production. They will also have one-on-one individual business appointments with executives from prospective suppliers, distributors, and partners. In addition, the USACC will sponsor the U.S.-Azerbaijan Agribusiness Forum, and delegates will visit the 13th Azerbaijan International Food, Drinks and Packaging Exhibition (InterFood Azerbaijan 2007), which will take place in Baku on May 23-25, 2007. Mission participants will have the opportunity to showcase their companies and product lines at the USACC stand at InterFood Azerbaijan 2007.
The trade mission is an ideal opportunity for U.S. firms to explore the fast-growing food and agriculture market in Azerbaijan, study available projects and secure short- and long-term contracts with Azerbaijani importer, suppliers and producers of diverse food and agricultural equipments and products. The mission is designed specifically to help U.S. firms establish long-term partnerships with Azerbaijani firms, identify potential projects, and find reliable buyers and/or suppliers of valuable agricultural products from the region.
Why a Food & Agricultural Trade Mission?
Azerbaijan is home to nine of the world's eleven climate zones that provide the perfect environment for the cultivation of a wide variety of agricultural products.
Fruits, vegetables, juices and nuts produced or raised in Azerbaijan are competitive in international markets. Some of these products include pomegranate, feijoa, grape juice, olives, tomatoes, forestry, cotton, tobacco, berries, and hazelnuts. In addition, wine production has a long history in Azerbaijan that dates back to the Middle Ages.
The economy of Azerbaijan is currently the fastest growing economy in the world. In 2005, the growth rate was 26 percent, and it exceeded 30 percent in 2006. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, Azerbaijan is one of the most attractive countries in the world for investment. In 2005, $4.67 billion was invested in Azerbaijan, of which $3.24 billion came from foreign investors. In 2006, investments exceeded $6 billion.
Agriculture is the second largest sector of Azerbaijan's economy and is dominated by two areas: crop production and livestock . In the late 1980s, Azerbaijan was one of the leading republics in the Soviet Union that exported raw cotton, tobacco, cognac, vegetables and canned fruits. At that time, there were 120 factories that processed grapes. In addition, there were 10 wine-making plants, 54 canning factories, 19 cotton processing operations, 16 tea production facilities and one cigarette factory. Some of these enterprises have been successfully renovated and privatized. But the majority of them have halted their operations and require investment to restart their operations.
There are more than 2,600 farms in Azerbaijan and agriculture's overall role in the economy has been increasing. The total share of agricultural products in the economy has grown from 5.6 percent in 2003 to 7.5 percent in 2005. By 2005 figures, Azerbaijan had $284 million worth of agricultural exports.
Since almost 50% of Azerbaijan's population resides in rural areas, the food and agriculture sector constitutes an important part of the job market. In 2005, some 39 percent of workers were engaged in the agriculture and forestry business. Rural development is a top priority for the Azerbaijani government and demand for agricultural input is growing rapidly.
The Ministry of Agriculture has invited foreign companies and investors to take part in the revitalization and modernization of Azerbaijan's food and agriculture sector. The Government of Azerbaijan has already begun allocating revenues from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan to the development of the agriculture sector, one of the critical non-oil sectors of the economy.
Azerbaijan's Priorities in Agricultural Development
Upgrade and modernization of canning factories;
Upgrade and modernization of grape and wine processing enterprises;
Upgrade of existing poultry factories and construction of modern food processing plants;
Development of the refrigerated and frozen food industry;
Construction of modern greenhouses;
Construction of glass-packing factories;
Sugar beet and dried fruit processing;
Production of artificial fertilizer;
Vegetable oil production;
Construction of temperature-regulated storage facilities;
Organization of agro-services providing technical and chemical services in Azerbaiajn's rural areas.
Available Investment Projects in Azerbaijan's Agricultural Sector*
Processing Industry (i.e. canning factories for fruit and juice production);
Organization of Storage, Packaging and Marketing;
Meat Processing and Construction of Mini-Meat Processing Facilities (with its own supermarket chains);
Poultry, Egg-Production, and Farming;
Viticulture and Modernization of Wine-Making Industry;
Fertilizer and Pesticides Production;
Setting up Small-Scale Milk Processing Factories and Enterprises;
Sugar Beet Processing Industry;
Certified Seeds and Seedling Production and Modernization of the State Seed Inspection System;
Olive Production, Planting and Processing Industry;
Setting up Agrochemical Laboratories;
Silkworm Egg Production;
Acquiring Advanced Irrigation Technologies;
Gypsum Production (for improving Saline and Salinized Soil);
Pasture Restoration Projects;
Establishing a National Animal Semen Bank and Enhancing Artificial Insemination Services;
Developing Apiculture in the Mountainous Regions of Azerbaijan;
Developing Drought-Resistant Cereal Varieties;
Establishing National Fruit and Vegetable Procurement and Distribution Network;
Setting up Modern Agriculture Scientific Research Centers.
Some of the benefits of the trade mission include:
Assistance in obtaining a travel visa;
Airport pick up/drop off;
Six-night accommodation at a four star hotel (May 21-26);
A visit to the regions of Azerbaijan specializing in food and agricultural production;
Entry to the 13th Azerbaijan International Food, Drinks and Packaging Exhibition (InterFood Azerbaijan 2007);
An opportunity to exhibit your company product and services at USACC stand at InterFood Azerbaijan 2007;
A presentation at the USACC sponsored U.S.-Azerbaijan Agribusiness Forum;
One-on-one business appointments with potential suppliers, partners and distributors;
Invitations to official receptions, luncheons and dinners;
A number of meetings with high ranking government officials, including the Minister of Agriculture, Ismet Abasov, and the Minister of Economic Development, Heydar Babayev.
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