October 16-18, 2017
Baku Business Center
US Department of Commerce
Embassy of the
Republic of Azerbaijan
in Washington D.C.
The United States – Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC), based in Washington, D.C., has successfully completed the largest ever US Trade Mission to Azerbaijan, certified by U.S. Commercial Service with support of US Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, DC, Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy and AzPromo. The trade mission commenced on October 16, 2017 with a breakfast briefing by US Ambassador Robert Cekuta and presentation by legal firm Dentons. The mission was completed on October 18, 2017 with a formal reception at the residence of US Ambassador.
With 18 companies and nearly 30 delegates, this U.S. Trade Mission to Azerbaijan was a response to the rapid growth of opportunities in Azerbaijan. The companies represented a broad swath of commercial sectors and engaged in over 120 business-to-business and business-to-government meetings. It provided leaders in business and government the chance to focus on strengthening economic and trade relationships between the United States and Azerbaijan, primarily by opening doors to tremendous new export opportunities for US companies and attracting new investment to Azerbaijan.
The 2017 Trade Mission to Azerbaijan offered a comprehensive program, which afforded American companies high market exposure to explore and expand trade and business opportunities as well as access to key decision makers in both private and public sectors of Azerbaijan.
Using the opportunity, we would like to thank the American companies for joining this trip and our partners for making the trade mission a success.
Baku is keen to attract more U.S. investment into Azerbaijan, the largest economy in the South Caucasus region, as the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) brought together entrepreneurs from both countries at the Azerbaijan-US Business Forum, held on October 16.“Azerbaijan and the U.S. actively interact in realm of energy, but this partnership may be expanded, as we have great opportunities for cooperation,” said Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Economy Minister, while addressing the group gathered on Monday. Babayev sees industry, agriculture, logistics, high technologies and tourism all as priority areas for Azerbaijan’s economic development.
American investments in Azerbaijan currently include more than 235 different enterprises, according to Babayev.
“The profit of the U.S. companies received from investing in Azerbaijan amounted to $17 billion, which once again shows that our country retains its investment attractiveness,” Babayev said.
According to Azerbaijan’s official statistical committee, in the period between 1995 and 2016 the total gross inflow of foreign direct investment amounted to $79.1 billion, while U.S.’ share was $12 billion; about $1 billion of that amount was invested in the non-oil sector.
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $37 billion, Azerbaijan is the largest economy in the South Caucasus region, which also includes Georgia and Armenia, and the fourth largest in the Caspian region, coming ahead of Turkmenistan and trailing behind Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan.
Energy-rich Azerbaijan’s export is primarily pegged to hydrocarbons. But officials in Baku have been looking to change that. After 2014, when the global price of crude oil spiraled downwards, officials increased their efforts aimed at developing non-oil sectors of the economy to strengthen economic stability.
A package of economic reforms, headlined the “Strategic Roadmap of the National Economy,” was approved by President Ilham Aliyev in 2016 and prioritized the development of Azerbaijan’s manufacturing and agricultural processing sectors, heavy industry and machinery, logistics and trade, tourism, as well as communication and information technologies.
The one-day business forum was organized by AZPROMO and the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. The event brought together 150 entrepreneurs, including representatives of 17 companies specializing in construction and building materials, information and communications technologies, finance, agriculture, payment and security systems, car rental services and logistics.
Susan Sadigova, co-organizer of the event who is also the Executive Director at the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, told Caspian News that Azerbaijan is actively working to attract more U.S. investment. “The only problem is the lack of information about where they [American companies] can invest. To do this, we try to provide these companies with information or bring them here, as we did today, and also conduct educational conferences in different cities of the United States,” she said.
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