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US, Azerbaijan launch Economic Partnership Commission

07 February 2007 [13:05] - TODAY.AZ
The United States and Azerbaijan inaugurate an Economic Partnership Commission in Baku, Wednesday.

The Commission, being chaired by Azerbaijan Finance Minister Samir Sharifov and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs Daniel Sullivan, is discussing current cooperation between the two countries, Azeri economy diversification promotion, financial sector development, acceleration of the country to WTO, improvement of business climate, continuation of Open Airspace Dialog for liberalization of civil aviation etc.

Minister Sharifov said this event will pave the way for further expansion of economic ties between Azerbaijan and the United States, adding trade turnover went up 40% in 2006, APA reports.

"Gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in Azerbaijan- amounted to US $20 billion last year. The economic growth rated over 80%, trade turnover has grown 30% during recent years. Azerbaijan is enjoying dynamic economic development. We hope foreign nations and foreign investment will take a great part in this process," he underscored.
Daniel Sullivan said this commission proves Azerbaijan to be the leading in the region for not only energy, but also economic issues, adding sustainable economic growth and expansion of commerce relations between the both countries are vital.

Eight documents will be signed at the end of the meeting: Agreement on mutual assistance and cooperation in customs issues, MOU between USAID and Milli Majlis on planned assistance project, MOU between USAID and Azerbaijan Economic Development Ministry on State Investment Policy Project, MOU between Azerbaijan Finance Ministry and USAID on Information Management System for Treasury, MOU between US and Azerbaijani Governments on improvement of health service, MOU on Emergency Medical Aid, and Grant Project between the Trade and Development Administration and Azerbaijan State Oil Fund on Phase 2 of institutional development of the Fund.
In addition to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. delegation includes senior representatives from the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Treasury, Agriculture, the Trade Representative’s Office, the Trade and Development Administration, and the Agency for International Development.

In addition to the Ministry of Finance, the Azerbaijan delegation includes senior representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Development, Agriculture, Health, Customs, Communications and Information Technologies, Emergency Situations, Oil Fund, and National Bank.

The Commission is believed to elevate bilateral economic discussions and cooperation to a new level. This new, high-level commission will meet annually to discuss macroeconomic policy, trade and investment, economic development, energy security, and other issues.


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