“The Silk Road Economic Belt” will create great opportunities for Azerbaijan’s development, in particular, in the spheres of agriculture, tourism, food industry and machine building, said Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijani deputy economy minister.
He made remarks at the CIS Global Business Forum in Dubai, according to a message on the forum’s website.
“Baku’s participation in the “Silk Road Economic Belt” is a great potential for investors, as the new railway lines envisaged by the project will simplify the delivery of goods between Azerbaijan and China in both directions,” he said.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is the land-based component that together with the oceanic Maritime Silk Road forms One Belt, One Road, a Chinese government economic development framework for primarily integrating trade and investment in Eurasia.
“The decline in oil prices opens great opportunities for Azerbaijan in the areas of strengthening the economic diversification and attracting foreign investors to the non-oil sector, especially investors from the UAE and the member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG),” noted Babayev.
Despite the fact that low oil prices have affected Azerbaijan’s incomes, we see good opportunities for attracting investment to other spheres, he said.
“Diversification of the non-oil sector is our main priority in 2016,” said Babayev adding that it is a long process, but the country has some achievements in this field.
Currently, the share of the non-oil sector in GDP is 71 percent, he said, adding that Azerbaijan has taken some measures to improve the business environment and attraction of investments.
“Last year, Azerbaijan introduced more liberal tax legislation for small and medium businesses and facilitated its access for financing,” he said.
Visa simplification regime facilitates the access of foreign business to the Azerbaijani market. The CIS Global Business Forum will be held February 17-18 as part of a series of global business forums of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).