The physical volume of exports of Azerbaijani goods to Russia increased significantly in 2016, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Russia Alexey Ulyukaev said.
He made the remarks in Baku at the first meeting of the Azerbaijani-Russian and Russian-Azerbaijani Business Council.
“Trade between our countries experiences a number of difficulties due to the fluctuation of exchange rates and decrease in energy prices”, Ulyukaev said. “But along with this it should be noted that the physical volume of exports of Azerbaijani goods to Russia, in particular of plant production, has grown. We attach great importance to the expansion of economic cooperation with Azerbaijan”.
He said that the use of business opportunities was a worthy response to price volatility in the energy resources market.
“Our economies need to gradually move away from dependence on oil and gas”, Ulyukaev said.
“Economic cooperation between the two countries actively develops not only in the energy sector but also in other areas, in particular in the financial sector”, he added. “Activity of VTB Bank in Azerbaijan, as well as investment of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) into the Russian banking sector and real estate are a clear example of this fact. Such mutual activity is very important for the expansion of our cooperation”.
SOFAZ invested $540 million, or 1.4% of the portfolio in VTB Bank’s shares, while $133 million, or 0.4%, were invested in the acquisition of the ‘Gallery Actor’ trade and office center in Moscow. SOFAZ has a 2.95% stake in the second largest Russian VTB Bank.
VTB Bank JSC is represented in Azerbaijan through its subsidiary VTB Bank (Azerbaijan) JSC. VTB Bank (Azerbaijan) provides services to corporate business small business clients and private clients. Today the bank is represented by 14 subsidiaries and customer care office at the head office.
In the first six months of 2016, exports to Russia fell by 4.72% compared to the same period last year, while imports – by 4.59%, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.
Russia continues to remain one of the main trade partners of Azerbaijan – in the last six months, Russia took the second place in the trade turnover of Azerbaijan, the first place in terms of imports and the sixth place in terms of exports. (Trend/Business World Magazine)