On September 18, 2020, COWI Belgium in cooperation with the Azerbaijan-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIAF), The Italy-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (ITAZERCOM), InvestBaku and AZPROMO held an online web-conference devoted to the “EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum 2020-2022”, initiative funded by the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan. The meeting counted with the participation of the honorable guests – H.E. Mr. Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Zacharie Gross, Ambassador of France to Azerbaijan, H.E Mr. Augusto Massari, Ambassador of Italy to Azerbaijan, Mr. Yusif Abdullayev, Acting President of AZPROMO and other distinguished business representatives from Europe and Azerbaijan.
The meeting started with an opening remark by Mrs. Natalia Andrea Cardona Gomez Project Manager at COWI Belgium. She introduced speakers and gave information about the “EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum 2020-2022” activities. The first session of the web-conference was moderated by Mrs. Simona Gatti, Ministry Counsellor of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and Head of Cooperation. Meeting with the Ambassadors Mr. Jankauskas, Mr. Gross and Mr. Massari provided an opportunity to exchange information on the EU-Azerbaijan cooperation between the EU Member States and specifically on the Italy-Azerbaijan and France-Azerbaijan economic relations.
In particular, Mr. Jankauskas focused on the objectives of the Business Forum: to help improve the business sector in Azerbaijan, to promote economic cooperation development between businesses from EU and Azerbaijan, and to strengthen awareness and knowledge of the business climate in Azerbaijan and investment opportunities for the EU businesses.
Mr. Jankauskas also noted that the EU seeks to continue developing cooperation with the country in the areas of the "green" economy, as well as information technology.
"Those companies from the member states to EU which already cooperate with Azerbaijan open up prospects for all others who want to implement projects in the country," he stated.
Mr. Abdullayev, acting President of AZPROMO, spoke about the programmes for investors and investment opportunities for EU companies.
The second session of the web-conference moderated by Natalia Cardona focused on the technicalities of the Business forum and the Business climate report as main outputs of the project.
Mrs. Bogdana Efe, Project Team Leader shared a presentation to inform attendees about the “EU Business Climate Report Azerbaijan” and its role in reflecting the main challenges of EU businesses in the country, tracking the progress of economic reforms and determining priorities for further improvement of the local business environment.
She also announced about the start of the Survey, which is a part of the annual independent study “EU Business Climate Report Azerbaijan” implemented since 2015 within EU-funded Project “EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum”. The survey this year will inevitably cover the unprecedent aspects of the COVID-19 and the effect in business in Azerbaijan.
Mr. Javid Mustafayev, Key Expert and representing InvestBaku as a co-implementing partner of the “EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum 2020-2022”, provided information about the “Business Forum”, “Sector Specific Missions outside Baku”, expected to take place next year.
ITAZERCOM President, Mrs. Manuela Traldi spoke about the Chambers role in a bilateral economic relation and growing trade interest between the countries.
CCIAF Managing Director, Mrs. Zibar Huseynova informed attendees about CCIAF and one of its main purpose to promote mutual economic and friendship relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the French Republic.
The forum was attended by official of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, the representatives of the Azerbaijani government, EU Chambers of Commerce, companies from Europe and Azerbaijan and the media.