COVID-19 didn’t stop positive dynamics in Belgian-Azerbaijani relations, Bert Schoofs, Ambassador of Belgium to Azerbaijan told reporters, AzVision.az reports citing Trend.
“For years, Azerbaijani and Belgian authorities have been partners in many economic sectors. The most obvious ones are energy, infrastructure, logistics and the medical and pharmaceutical sector. It is interesting to see that more than one year of COVID-19 didn’t stop these positive dynamics. Even if physical trade missions obviously are on hold due to the corona policies worldwide, business is going on and Belgian companies keep on being active on the Azerbaijani market,” noted the envoy.
Schoofs noted that December 31, 2020 was a very important date in the energy relations between Azerbaijan and Belgium.
“At the day the Trans-Atlantic-Pipeline (TAP), the last part of the Southern Gas Corridor, became operational. With 19% of the shares, the Belgian company Fluxys is an important stake holder of TAP. Moreover, SOCAR and Fluxys are partners in other strategic energy projects. And in the field of renewable energy, on April 5 2021, the 5 megawatt solar power station in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was finalized. This brings the total capacity of the solar power plant, built with Belgian technology (Soltech/PED-Aver), to 32 megawatt. So you see, in traditional (oil and gas) energy and renewables (solar) Belgian companies continue to be active in Azerbaijan,” he added.
As for the possible interest of Belgian companies in getting involved in development projects in Azerbaijan’s liberated lands, Schoofs said Belgian companies are always interested to offer their services and technologies wherever required.
“It is clear that recent months the Azerbaijani government puts a lot of emphasis on the reconstruction of the conflict-affected areas. I am convinced that regional development with a special attention to mobility of persons and goods is not only important for the welfare of the local population, but could also help to ease the tensions in the region.
To assist the Azerbaijani authorities in these endeavors, the European Union, together with the World Bank and the Union Nations ,set up a special framework, called Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA). At the moment these institutions and the competent Azerbaijani ministries and agencies are finalizing a need assessment. I am looking forward to the results of this exercise and will inform Belgian authorities and companies that could be of any use to implement these projects,” he concluded.