Business cooperation with the the most dynamically developing state in the South Caucasus - Azerbaijan is one of the priorities of the foreign policy of the Russian government.
Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev made the remarks in his interview with "Rossiyskaya Gazeta".
"A free trade regime exists between the two countries, a number of international and intergovernmental agreements have been signed. Furthermore, Baku very actively builds relationships with constituent entities of the Russian Federation," Ulyukayev said.
The main obstacle, impeding the development of mutual trade are logistics and transport restrictions as well as imperfection of the legal framework base which prevents investment activity, the Russian minister said.
"During the talks in Baku with my colleague - Minister of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev we discussed mechanisms for expansion of transit of goods, as well as combined transport by road, rail, air and sea transport. In particular, we have to ensure establishment of ferry service between the ports of Baku and Olya. A ferry service have long been established between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and sooner establishment of such transport link with Russia will significantly reduce the costs of freight. The separate theme is the construction of logistics centers in both countries. Azerbaijani investors plan to build one of these logistics centers in Yekaterinburg", Ulyukayev said.
No less important task is the increasing volume of mutual investments, which Russia and Azerbaijan had to agree on a number of issues in the legislative arena.
"Primarily the matter is the intergovernmental agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments which will provide a firm legal basis for raising funds, primarily in industry, high-tech and innovative projects. Significant progress has been achieved on this issue during the talks in Baku: the signing of the agreement is scheduled for July. With the formation of stable legal framework, our states can bring up the volume of mutual investments to many billions of dollars. In particular, Russian business is considering the possibility of joint production of railcars, energy equipment and mechanisms for mining and oil and gas transportation in Azerbaijan. The establishment of a metallurgical complex with full production cycle in Azerbaijan is very attractive for us," the minister said.
The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $755.45 million in January-May 2014, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. At the same time, the country imported Russian products in the amount of $512.83 million. The export volumes to Russia totaled $242.62 million.