BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 6. Within the framework of the visit of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Tajikistan on April 5, the two countries have taken their already successful relations to a new level. Multiple agreements that have been signed during the visit cover broad spectrum of bilateral cooperation – from increasing mutual investments and strengthening financial relations to the development of cultural and tourism ties.
As President Ilham Aliyev said during the press conference with President Emomali Rahmon, Azerbaijan is ready to seriously consider investment projects in Tajikistan, noting that this country is not only close for Azerbaijan, but is also stable.
Moreover, President Ilham Aliyev said that it has been decided to hold the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Tajikistan in 2023. This event is very promising in many aspects.
"Investments go only to countries where there is stability and a good investment environment. The fact that many foreign companies are actively investing in Tajikistan means that investments, including foreign, are protected by the state. I have no doubt that tangible steps will be taken in the near future based on the results of the visit. We have agreed to hold the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Tajikistan this year, and by the time of the meeting of the intergovernmental commission, I am sure that all the instructions that we have given to the members of the delegations on the issues of transport and logistical interaction, investment policy, industrial cooperation will be fulfilled. I am sure that the results will please us all," President Ilham Aliyev said.
President Emomali Rahmon, in his turn, has expressed the strong will of Tajikistan to continue to use convenient transport links that Azerbaijan offers, promote cooperation in oil and gas sector with Azerbaijani companies, and support joint implementation of projects in the light, chemical and mining industries, in the production of building materials, processing of aluminum, cotton fiber, precious and semi-precious stones and metals.
Until yesterday, the legal basis for bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Tajikistan consisted of about 62 agreements regulating various spheres of cooperation. And know, 14 more agreements in various spheres have been added. One of the most important is an action plan for economic cooperation between the two governments until 2025, which should become a basis for the creation of effective mechanisms for deepening the bilateral relations.
Another agreement incorporates partnership in the field of transport. The Protocol on arranging exchange of preliminary information on goods and vehicles transported between Azerbaijan and Tajikistan will contribute to the rapid growth of trade relations and facilitate the overall logistics. Having developed great transportation links with all countries of Central Asia, Azerbaijan always works on their improvement, and this helped the country evolve into a regional transportation hub. This is where Tajikistan can benefit enormously.
Furthermore, a Draft Agreement in the field of investments, start-up promotion and entrepreneurship has been signed. The stable investment climate that had been created in Azerbaijan has attracted numerous foreign companies engaged in diverse spheres. Azerbaijan is always open to invest and to attract investments, thus, the country’s successful experience will be applied in Tajikistan as well.
The cooperation in humanitarian and culture fields is also one of the main areas in Azerbaijani-Tajik relations. An agreement on boosting tourism cooperation was also followed by Azerbaijani Buta Airways’ announcement of flights launch on Baku – Dushanbe route. The number of mutual visits is not so large currently, thus, these steps will hugely contribute to the growth in this regard.
In his speech during the joint press conference, President Ilham Aliyev paid particular attention to the cultural relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan: "Our peoples have lived for centuries in an atmosphere of friendship, accord. We have always been friends, and it is no coincidence that Tajik culture is highly valued in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani culture is appreciated in Tajikistan".
Establishing strong ties with Central Asian countries has been one of the main pillars of President Ilham Aliyev’s farsighted foreign policy. At the same time, having developed fruitful partnership with the European countries, Azerbaijan, basically becomes a gateway for Central Asia’s integration in the West. And now, those new opportunities in cooperation between Azerbaijan and Tajikistan that have emerged will contribute to the development of the whole region.