GANJA, 19 May (BelTA) - Belarus and Azerbaijan are developing strategic cooperation, and industrial cooperation and supply of agricultural products are of special interest to both countries, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Nazaruk told the media on 19 May, BelTA has learned.
“Strategic cooperation between the two countries has been confirmed at the recent meeting between Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko and Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov. The figures testify to the fact. Last year, mutual trade was $885.5 million. Trade was balanced and equally proportional to both exports and imports. We have discussed the projects that are of most interest to us. It is industrial cooperation in the first place,” said Igor Nazaruk.
In his words, Belarus is a country with high industrial and technological conversion, high added value in processing of both agricultural and industrial raw materials. “We are ready not only to directly supply our high-quality, highly-liquid agricultural products to Azerbaijan (it concerns butter, meat products and other agricultural goods), but also to intensify and expand our supplies across the industrial group. Minsk Tractor Works is a leader here,” the deputy minister said.
The Belarusian business has been recently increasing its activity in Azerbaijan. The contacts and logistics that suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic are gradually restoring. Amid the geopolitical turbulence and sanctions pressure of the West, Belarusian business is actively looking for new niches, supply routes and reliable partners.
A representative participation of Belarusian enterprises in the international exhibitions Caspian Agro and Inter Food, which are underway these days in Baku, has contributed greatly to further development of trade and economic cooperation with Azerbaijan. About 30 Belarusian manufacturers of food, agricultural machinery and other goods and services in the agro-industrial complex have demonstrated their potential to partners and consumers. B2B meetings were held as part of the exhibitions, which were attended by representatives of almost all major sectors of the Belarusian industry: food, machinery, woodworking, construction, electrical and other industries.
A solid package of commercial contracts worth over $70 million was signed at the exhibiitons in Baku.
In 2021, the trade between Belarus and Azerbaijan amounted to $885.5 million, up 1.9 times compared to 2020. Exports totaled $478 million (up 2.5 times). Belarus posted a trade surplus. Belarus' main exports to Azerbaijan last year were non-propelled and motorized railway or streetcar cars, tractors, fiberboard, butter, medicines, furniture, turbojet and turboprop engines, gas turbines, timber, beef and other products. In 2021 Belarus imported Azerbaijani tomatoes, strong alcoholic beverages, cooked or canned fruits and nuts, fresh fruits, fruit and vegetable juices, meat and poultry by-products, potatoes, clay and other goods.
In 2021, foreign trade in services stood at $23 million (up 18.7% from 2020). The export of Belarusian services reached $17.1 million (up 12.4%).
In Azerbaijan there are five subjects of the commodity distribution network and 45 dealers representing more than 50 Belarusian enterprises. There is a joint assembly unit for tractor machinery at Ganja Automobile Plant.
The Trading House of Azerbaijan opened in Minsk in 2017. It has been given preferential treatment for the supply of a group of food products to the Belarusian market.