Sharjah – 9 December 2018: The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) held discussions with an economic delegation from Azerbaijan on ways to develop economic cooperation, promote mutual investments, exchange trade missions, and build partnerships between the business communities in Sharjah and Azerbaijan.
During the business meeting that was hosted by the SCCI at its headquarters on Sunday, the two sides reviewed the prospects of cooperation, and ways to encourage the Emirati and Azerbaijani business communities to participate in the economic events and exhibitions that are held by both sides, which helps to enhance the economic, investment and trade relations between the two friendly countries.
The business meeting was attended HE Abdulla Ibrahim Deaifis, Board Member of the SCCI; Raed Bukhatir, Deputy Commercial Director of Sharjah Airport International Free (SAIF) Zone; Elnur Aliyev, Trade Representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Arab Emirates; Jassim Al Mutawa, Consultant of Relations with the Commonwealth of Independent states; Yaqoub Yousef Al Qusair, Industrial Affairs Consultant at the SCCI; Jamal Saeed Buzangal, Director of Media Department; Anar Aluriyev, Marketing Manager of Export promotion at the Azerbaijan Export and Investment promotion foundation; and representatives of several economic institutions in Sharjah, in addition to a number of heads and representatives of Sectoral Business Groups that fall under the umbrella of the chamber, and a group of businesspeople from the Emirate of Sharjah.
HE Abdulla Ibrahim Deaifis, Board Member of the SCCI, highlighted the importance of the meeting that allows businesspeople from both Sharjah and Azerbaijan to review possible avenues of cooperation and the investment opportunities available in both countries, in order to help strengthen the existing bilateral and economic relations between the friendly countries, which have witnessed remarkable development during the last five years.
Deaifis stated that the chamber hopes that the meeting will represent a new beginning towards better horizons of cooperation between the business communities in the two countries in general and with the emirate of Sharjah more specifically. He remarked that the Sharjah Chamber is prepared to provide all types of facilities to help ensure the success of joint work between the business communities in the two friendly countries, and to develop the trade and investment relations to wider levels.
Deaifis stressed that the Sharjah Chamber is keen to build bridges of cooperation between Sharjah's business community and their counterparts in Azerbaijan. He added that the investment opportunities enjoyed by both sides will ensure strong strategic partnerships, especially since Sharjah encompasses 20 Azerbaijani companies, while the total of value of exports and re-exports from Sharjah to Azerbaijan amounted to Dh53 million until November of this year, according to certificates of origin issued by the Member Services Department in our chamber.
Elnur Aliyev, Trade Representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Arab Emirates, praised the close relations between his country and the UAE. He stressed that Azerbaijan is keen to enhance cooperation with the Emirate of Sharjah in various different economic, tourism, and agricultural fields among others, with the aim of building better relations between the business communities of the two countries, as well as forming strategic partnerships and increasing mutual investments between the two sides.
Anar Aluriyev, Marketing Manager of Export promotion at the Azerbaijan Export and Investment promotion foundation, extended an official invitation to the Sharjah Chamber to visit Azerbaijan with an economic and trade delegation. He praised the efforts of the chamber and its keenness to develop the economic relations between the Emirate of Sharjah and his country, as well as for the facilities it offers to investors and companies that operate in Sharjah. He pointed out that his country welcomes Emirati businesspeople who wish to invest in Azerbaijan and benefit from the available opportunities in his country.
Jithin Varrie from the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority gave a presentation during the meeting, where he highlighted the advantages of investing in Sharjah's free zones, which are considered the fastest growing free zones in the middle east and the ideal destination for investment, due to their efficiency of operations, excellent services, and encouraging environment that helps companies achieve their goals and develop at an accelerated pace to ensure success and prosperity in regional and global markets.
During the visit, bilateral meetings were held between businesspeople from both sides. After the business meeting, the visiting delegation toured the permanent exhibition of local manufactured products located at the SCCI's headquarters, where they reviewed a wide range of products that are manufactured locally by more than 180 firms and are exhibited through 191 stands.
The UAE exports to Azerbaijan include high-tech products, electronics, industrial goods, and construction materials from the UAE. The UAE imports from Azerbaijan include fruits, juices, semi-processed metal products, among other goods. The volume of trade between the two countries is estimated to be at Dh105 million during the period of January to July of 2018, which represents an increase of 67% when compared to the same period during the previous year.
This comes at a time where Emirati investments in Azerbaijan have reached almost $800 million, while Azerbaijani investments in the UAE are estimated to be around $300 million, which adds up to total mutual investment value that exceeds 1 billion dollars.
Azerbaijan has exempted UAE nationals from the requirements of obtaining a pre-entry visa, and this contributed to increasing the number of visitors from the UAE to Azerbaijan by around 50 thousand tourists annually. The exemptions have also led to a growth in the number of flights to about 30 flights weekly between the different cities of the two countries, which helps to enhance communication between the people of both nations and contributes to the growth of the business sectors.