Mr Juhan Parts and his Azerbaijan colleagues opened the Estonian-Azerbaijan business forum today

23. jaanuar 2008

Today, Mr Juhan Parts, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Estonia, and Mr Heydar Babayev, Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, opened the Estonian-Azerbaijan business forum. The ministers noted that, regardless of the modest co-operation until now, both countries would be interested in tightening their economic relations.

„Azerbaijan is a rapidly developing country where GDP growth figures have reached 30% in recent years," said Juhan Parts at the forum which was held at the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. „Enhancing co-operation with Azerbaijan is welcome and necessary for Estonia." Parts said that a bilateral agreement on investment protection was being developed.

The Azerbaijan minister said that both countries were related, first and foremost, through their Soviet history. „We are bound by this cursed history," said Babayev. „Estonia is in the forefront, politically and economically, of the countries that have escaped this cursed history, and we have a lot to learn from it." By Babayev's words, Azerbaijan is prepared to invest in Estonia in construction, infrastructure development, logistics and SMEs.

Heydar Babayev, heading the Azerbaijan economic and business delegation, arrived in Estonia on a two-day visit on Monday. In addition to meetings with the Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and representatives of the Parliament the delegation visited the Port of Tallinn and Balti Laevaremondi Tehas (a shipyard).