M’sia urged to make Azerbaijan trade hub for neighbouring markets

M’sia urged to make Azerbaijan trade hub for neighbouring markets

Ambassador calls for businesses to capitalise on its strategic location, expand into Central Asia, Eastern Europe

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian businessmen and companies have been encouraged to leverage the strategic location of Azerbaijan as a hub to expand their markets into neighbouring countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Irfan Davudov, the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Malaysia, emphasised the importance of growing trade and investment from Malaysia by highlighting the nation’s cutting-edge transport and communication infrastructure, which connects Azerbaijan with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, and Iran.

Davudov stressed the prospects for trade and investment in Azerbaijan, particularly in the programmes for rebuilding, restoring, and reconstructing the freed territories after the Second Karabakh War in 2020.

“There is a huge potential for Malaysian companies producing semiconductor goods to supply them to Azerbaijan, where there is high demand for such products in the development of the liberated areas.

“Azerbaijan has created a conducive environment for investors in this regard,” he said after paying a courtesy call to Bernama’s chief executive officer, Roslan Ariffin, at his office here on Friday.

The Alat Free Economic Zone (AFEZ), which is located next to the Baku International Sea Trade Port, is designed to draw investors into high-value-added, export-oriented manufacturing, he explained.

In this regard, he encouraged Malaysian businessmen to leverage the railway link from AFEZ to export goods to the European and Central Asian markets.

Azerbaijan Railways runs the country’s railway network, which links numerous towns and regions as well as provides access to surrounding countries. An essential component of the regional transport network, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway connects Baku with Tbilisi in Georgia and continues to Kars in Turkey, creating a direct train link between Europe and Asia.

Bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and Malaysia reached US$94 million (RM429 million) last year, with the figure amounting to US$77 million (RM351 million) in 2021.

In a similar development, Davudov advised Azerbaijani investors to explore opportunities in Malaysia and consider the country as a hub to enter other markets within the Asean region.

He added that there are ongoing efforts to showcase investment opportunities in Perak, Negri Sembilan, Sabah, and Sarawak.

With a population of 10.4 million and a former Soviet republic in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan is an upper-middle-income country, sharing borders with Iran, Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia.

The establishment of diplomatic ties between Azerbaijan and Malaysia on April 5, 1993, is being celebrated this year on its 30th anniversary. In Kuala Lumpur, the Azerbaijani embassy was established in June 2007, while Malaysia’s embassy in Baku opened on April 1, 2014.

– Bernama, June 18, 2023

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