In recent years the expansion of bilateral economic relations, the organization of economic missions, business forums, as well as other activities opened a new phase in practical cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands.
Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev met Former President of the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Honorary President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Chairman of Dutch-Azerbaijan Friendship Group Rene van der Linden.
Mustafayev underlined the contribution of Linden to the development of the Azerbaijani-Dutch relations and emphasized the expansion of economic and trade relations between the two countries and the importance of reciprocal visits.
During the meeting, the bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industry, chemistry, ecology and other spheres, growth of trade turnover last year, the role of business forums, business meetings in the expansion of economic ties, noted.
Mustafayev noted that up to 130 Dutch companies registered in Azerbaijan in services, construction, transport, industry, trade, communications, banking and insurance. The general plan and general project of the Baku International Sea Trade Port Complex commissioned last year was developed by the Royal Dutch company “Royal Haskoning”. In addition, Azerbaijan cooperated with Dutch companies in rehabilitation of lakes in Absheron, including Boyukshor lake.
He also noted that Azerbaijan’s increasing transit potential, important projects in this area – North-East, East-West transport corridors, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, International Sea Trade Port, international airports create great opportunities for transit-logistics cooperation.
Simplification of visa regime and introduction of electronic visa in Azerbaijan have further increased the number of tourists coming to the country. Only last year, the number of tourists coming from the Netherlands to Azerbaijan increased by 26.6 percent compared to 2017.
Speaking about Azerbaijan-Netherlands relations in the field of education, the minister emphasized the fruitful cooperation between ADA University and Maastricht School of Management and noted that Azerbaijani students study at that university.
Rene van der Linden appreciated the application of the Maastricht School Management Program at the ADA University in the development of education in our country. He also mentioned that representatives of the Sumgayit Chemical Industry Park are in the Kemelot industrial park of the Netherlands and pointed out opportunities for Azerbaijani companies to operate at Kemelot.
Rene van der Linden noted that the Netherlands is interested in North-South, East-West corridors, special economic zone of Free Trade Zone type in Alat, cooperation in alternative energy sources, agriculture and other spheres, as well as expansion of existing relations.
Azerbaijan and the Netherlands are cooperating on development of the Baku Sea Trade Port and its connection with the Dutch ports. Presently the representatives of specific hubs in the Netherlands work on creation of the Netherlands-Azerbaijan business hub, trying to link the port Alat with the Dutch Greenport and port of Venlo.
Although Netherlands doesn’t participate in the Southern Gas Corridor project, envisaging transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, it attaches great importance to this project, as the Netherlands is extremely interested to support the energy security in the EU as a whole.
The Netherlands recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992. Azerbaijan’s Embassy was opened in the Hague in 2007. The Dutch embassy was established in Baku in 2009.
Relations between the two countries develop gradually especially in the economic sector. Trade turnover between the countries increases annually.
Earlier, Charge d’Affaires of Azerbaijan in the Kingdom of the Netherlands Jalal Mirzoyev said that the level of trade turnover between the Netherlands and Azerbaijan increased 12 times in 2017 compared to 2016.
According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, trade turnover with the Netherlands in January-September 2018 amounted to $142.2 million. As compared to the indicator for the same period of the last year, the trade turnover between the countries increased by 70 percent, while the exports of Azerbaijani products increased almost four times.