MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. Exports from Russia to Azerbaijan experienced a 12.5-percent increase in 2018, rising to $1.7 bln, while trade turnover between the countries climbed 13.8% to $2.4 bln, according to the files released by the Russian Export Center (REC).
"Azerbaijan is a modern, fast-paced country. That attracts Russian companies to implement joint economic projects. Over 750 joint companies run operations on Azerbaijan’s market, of which around 300 have 100% Russian capital and more than 450 are in joint-venture format," Director General of the Russian Export Center Andrey Slepnev told TASS.
Persistent efforts are made towards economic diversification and development of joint productions, he said. The establishment of the GAZ car assembly plant in Azerbaijan has become one of the results. The foundation stone laying was held this February for a new manufacture facility to produce commercial freight vehicles and special-purpose machinery.
"We have created an efficient communication platform for Russian and Azerbaijani companies. In 2018, REC supported Russian exports to Azerbaijan totally worth around $284 mln," Slepnev said.
REC’s representative office in Baku started operations in December 2017, he noted. The government’s tasks include assistance to Russian exporters and Azerbaijani consumers of Russian products in selection of relevant partners, participation in exhibitions, fairs and business missions, helping along with provision of financial and non-financial support to joint projects, as well as on third markets, assistance in lifting emerging barriers for implementation of joint projects and more.
On April 3-4, REC will hold a business mission in Baku, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov will participate in the events. Signings between four Russian companies and the Azerbaijani business are expected as part of the upcoming mission: an agreement on cooperation and interaction between Rostselmash and Sumgait Technologies Park, a memorandum on cooperation between Transmashholding and Sumgait Technologies Park, a memorandum of intent regarding fence systems implementation between AzOkso and Service Invest and an agreement between AzOkso and State Agency of Azerbaijan Automobile Roads.
Russian exports to Azerbaijan was mainly represented by the following commodity groups in 2018: food items and agricultural produce - $422.1 mln, machinery, equipment and transport vehicles - $381.6 mln, metals and articles made therefrom - $315.9 mln, timber, pulp and paper products - $238.1 mln, as well as chemical products, rubber - $198 mln.
Meanwhile, Russia imported food items and agricultural produce worth $526.1 mln, mineral commodities worth $103.6 mln, textile and articles made therefrom, footwear worth $35.9 mln.
Earlier the Industry and Trade Ministry of the Russian Federation and REC opened the first foreign office of the single export support system in Mumbai. The single export support system suggests that big regional ‘hubs’ in 19 countries and local outlets in 33 countries should be set up. Meanwhile, agent and partner chains will promote Russian goods on foreign markets of over 100 countries, REC said. The plan is to launch the first seven pilot points of presence of the export support group in the first half of 2019.
That infrastructure is being created as part of implementation of the national project ‘International cooperation and export’ for guiding Russian industrialists who plan to tap international markets. The single system will ensure a common quality standard of providing products and services, diversification of the Russian exports’ geography, the reach of more than 100 foreign countries and 85 Russian constituent entities. Currently activities are being held to implement the plan of the ‘pilot’ launch of export support groups in an array of countries (China, Germany, Turkey, India, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Singapore).
In compliance with the May decree by the president of the Russian Federation of 2018, national projects in 12 areas have been worked out (demography, culture, healthcare, education, housing and urban environment, ecology, roads, labor efficiency and employment maintenance, science, digital economy, small and medium-sized business, international cooperation and export). They are planned to be implemented by 2024.
The budget of the national project ‘International cooperation and export’ for 2019-2024 amounts to 956.8 bln rubles ($14.5 bln). The national project ‘International cooperation and export’ consists of five projects of the federal level: ‘Industrial export’, ‘Export of agriculture products’, ‘International trade logistics’, ‘Services export’ and ‘Systemic measures for development of international cooperation and export’. On each of them, budget financing is provided. The biggest financing is provided for federal projects ‘Industrial export’ (423.8 bln rubles, or $6.4 bln) and ‘Export of agriculture products’’ (406.8 bln rubles, or $6.1 bln).