President Aliyev made the remark at the Azerbaijan-Italy business forum in Rome, Trend reports.
“Italian companies are helping us to increase industrial production and diversify the economy of Azerbaijan,” the president said. “As part of Mr. Mattarella’s visit, we participated in the opening of a large petrochemical enterprise together. One of the leading Italian companies commissioned two large industrial enterprises worth about $1 billion in Azerbaijan. It worked as a contractor.”
“Currently, this company is heavily involved in the reconstruction of an oil refinery in Azerbaijan,” President Aliyev said. “The value of the contracts signed exceeds 800 million euros. This is only a beginning. I am sure that Italian companies will play a role in the further industrial development of Azerbaijan.”
“I should also note that the non-oil industry of Azerbaijan grew by 16 percent last year and in January this year by a further about 14-15 percent,” the president said. “This suggests that great attention is being paid to industrial production and the private sector invests heavily in this sector. I am sure that work will continue to be carried out in this direction in the future.”
“Among the documents signed yesterday, I want to specifically note another one,” President Aliyev said. “It concerns the military-industrial complex. This is also just the beginning. Until now, there was no cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan in the field of military industry. But on the basis of the signed memorandum, such cooperation has begun.”
“I am sure that by the end of this year all the necessary technical and commercial conditions will be agreed upon and we will successfully cooperate in the field of military industry,” the president said.
“As the Minister said, Italian companies have vast experience in the field of agriculture,” President Aliyev said. “Some companies operate in Azerbaijan. One of the Italian companies is even engaged in the development of winemaking in Azerbaijan, and very successfully.”
“The products of this company are exported to foreign markets,” President Aliyev said. “We attach particular importance to this sector. Last year, a record volume of grapes was harvested in Azerbaijan – about 200,000 tons. The bulk of this are technical varieties. Therefore, I believe that the development of winemaking is a very promising sector. Italy has vast experience in this area. Azerbaijan also has experience, and we have no problem accessing relevant markets.
“I would like to mention other branches of agriculture,” the president said. “Italy has extensive experience in the field of olive production. Azerbaijan has already started exporting olive oils. We invite Italian companies to this area as consultants and contractors. Azerbaijan and Italy are the leading hazelnut producers on a global scale. I think we are in third or fourth places.”
“This sector also has great prospects,” President Aliyev said. “Azerbaijan is also involved in the exports of hazelnuts to Italy, and as far as I know, Italian companies are showing great interest in this area. We invite them to Azerbaijan to participate, alongside us, in the development of these and other sectors because today the yields in Azerbaijan have been growing fast as a result of the use of new technologies. Italy’s extensive experience in this area, of course, would precondition this cooperation.