ISLAMABAD: Azerbaijan Ambassador Ali Alizada has suggested that Pakistan should engage in joint production of defence products in a bid to give a boost to bilateral relations.
He stated this while speaking at a ceremony held to mark the 25th anniversary of restoration of state independence of Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijan has also been developing its defence industry and Pakistan is a very developed country from this point of view. So, we can work together to start joint production and further develop cooperation in the military area,” he said.
The envoy pointed out that the two countries had good relations in all fields and these would successfully continue.
“Our political relations are at a very high level and we are strategic partners. Now we are working more on the economic track, on the track of investments and creation of mutually advantageous joint ventures to increase the level of mutual trade,” he said.
The two sides are also planning to establish joint ventures in Azerbaijan, particularly in the areas of pharmaceutical, textile, agriculture and tourism.
“We believe and experience shows that cooperation among countries can eliminate some of the problems. Our efforts are aimed at establishing cooperation in the area of transportation,” he added.
The North-South Corridor, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, is being built and Azerbaijan has taken important measures in this regard.
“New transportation projects which Azerbaijan is implementing together with its neighbours will create new opportunities and open fresh routes of transportation from Asia to Europe, from North to South and Pakistan can benefit from these projects too,” he said.
“Today, we work on a global energy project called the Southern Gas Corridor. The cost of this project is around $45 billion and Azerbaijan plays a leading role in implementation of this project,” he said, adding that about 70% of the economy now comprised the non-oil sector. “We are seriously dealing with diversification of exports.” The ambassador said Azerbaijan had minimised its dependence on oil and gas and the country enjoyed a high ranking in international organisations.
“The Davos World Economic Forum ranks Azerbaijan 37th with respect to competitiveness of the economy. It shows our economy is competitive, diversified and not based on one source, which is energy,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2016.