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Czech companies want to expand presence in Azerbaijan (Exclusive)

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Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 16

By Anvar Mammadov – Trend:

The Czech companies aim to expand their presence in Azerbaijan and strengthen cooperation with Azerbaijani entrepreneurs, Chairman of the Board of the Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the CIS Countries Frantisek Masopust, who took part in the Azerbaijani-Czech business forum in Baku, told Trend Sept. 13.

He noted that about 25 Czech companies have arrived in Baku, which aim to find partners in Azerbaijan to establish joint businesses.

"For 10 years, our companies have been coming here at an enviable regularity. During this period, we managed to spread information about your country in the Czech Republic, and our companies are very pleased to respond to the offers of trip to Azerbaijan and search for partners here. First of all, we are attracted by the economic stability and security in your country. When we first entered the Azerbaijani market 12-15 years ago, we felt that, as compared to your neighbor countries, more prospects for business activity are awaiting us in your country. And now we are convinced that at that time we made the right step. The economy of Azerbaijan is developing steadily, and coming here almost every year, we witness this with our own eyes. There is a good potential for the development of relations between the business entities of the two countries, so we want to gradually expand our presence in Azerbaijan," Masopust said.

He noted that the Czech entrepreneurs are ready to establish contacts with Azerbaijani partners for joint activities in a number of areas.

"We are interested in the development of our relations in such areas as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, transport, tourism, construction, as well as in the implementation of various infrastructure projects. We are ready to provide Azerbaijan with various technologies and equipment within our joint activities. In general, we would like the level of our business cooperation to be higher, therefore we bring more and more new companies here," he said.

Referring to the format of cooperation, Masopust noted that the Czech companies mainly prefer export-import operations.

"We have several joint ventures and partner companies, but the Czech companies mainly prefer partnership at the level of export-import operations. We are interested in increasing investments, but the fact is that the financial capacity of the Czech companies is not so great in order to implement major investment opportunities. For example, an average German company is much richer than the Czech companies. State support is necessary for us to be able to increase our investments in Azerbaijan," Masopust said.

There are currently 25 Czech companies operating in Azerbaijan. Over the past period, the Czech Republic has invested $30 million in the economy of Azerbaijan. The Czech companies are contractors in eight state projects, the total value of which exceeds $2 billion.

According to the data from the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, trade turnover with the Czech Republic in January-July amounted to $473 million, of which almost $394.3 million fell on the export of Azerbaijani products to the Czech Republic.

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