Sharifov reminded that in February 2016, Azerbaijan simplified the procedure of obtaining visas for citizens of Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf.
The minister said that 7,500 tourists from Saudi Arabia visited Azerbaijan in 2016, 33,000 tourists visited the country in 2017, and 73,000 tourists from Saudi Arabia visited Azerbaijan in 2018. However, the influx of tourists is observed only in the summer, he noted.
“I think it is necessary to establish permanent direct flights,” Sharifov said. “This will be important not only for tourism, but also for the development of business relations between the two countries.”
Further, Sharifov noted that there is mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries in many areas.
“Despite that political relations between our countries are at the highest level, these relations don’t correspond to the potential in other areas,” he said. “The main task of the intergovernmental commission is to promote the development of these relations.”
The minister noted that the trade turnover between the countries isn’t very high and increasing it will also be discussed at the meeting.
Over the past 15 years, Azerbaijan’s economy has been developing rapidly, he said. Azerbaijan’s GDP grew by 3.3 times, industrial production by 2.6 times, exports by 4.7 times and foreign exchange reserves by 24 times, he added.