In his presentation, the Consul General spoke of Azerbaijan's path to independence and its rapid development as a free and independent nation since 1991.
Aghayev informed the participants about the economic reforms undertaken in the country and current efforts by the Government to diversify the economic development even more vigorously into such areas as tourism, IT, agriculture and transportation, among others, which are already beginning to produce positive results, strengthening Azerbaijan's position as the largest economy in the South Caucasus region.
Highlighting Azerbaijan's role in implementing projects of regional and trans-regional importance and magnitude, the Consul General spoke of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad that was inaugurated on October 30, 2017 and that is set to connect China with Europe through the shortest and most reliable route.
Informing the Chamber members of Azerbaijan-US economic and trade relations as well as the favorable business and investment climate established in Azerbaijan, Aghayev invited the Chamber members to invest in and trade with Azerbaijan.
Considered one of the most influential chambers of commerce in California, the WLACC has over 1,250 members representing many renowned companies, including some of the nation's largest corporate entities. Previous speakers of the WLACC included Los Angeles Mayors, members of U.S. Congress, California state elected officials and others.
The Consul General also informed the audience about the illegal military occupation and ethnic cleansing of around 20 percent of Azerbaijan's sovereign territory by neighboring Armenia.
He noted that this illegal occupation and the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan has only damaged Armenia's well-being over the last 26 years of its independence, making it the weakest economy of the South Caucasus.
"Since 1991, Armenia has lost a million of its population to economic emigration," Aghayev said, adding that integration of Armenia into the large-scale regional projects involving Azerbaijan and the other South Caucasian nation - Georgia, would only be possible once Armenia leaves the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, allowing hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani displaced population to return to their homes and lands.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.