BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 12. The relations between Tajikistan and Azerbaijan are currently at a high level, Tajikistan’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Ilhom Abdurahmon, told Trend in an exclusive interview.
“Thanks to the wise policies of our respected leaders and the skillful development of bilateral relations, cooperation between our countries in political, diplomatic, trade-economic, and cultural-humanitarian matters is at a high level. All emerging issues related to bilateral cooperation are always resolved in a friendly manner,” the ambassador said.
According to him, there are very promising prospects in the fields of transportation, energy, and tourism. Both countries are focused on active cooperation and aim to achieve significant results.
He noted that the priority areas for economic cooperation between Tajikistan and Azerbaijan include metallurgy, the agro-industrial complex, energy, light industry, transportation, communications, and the financial sector.
Currently, the countries are working on various economic projects, including those in the energy sector, oil industry, and aluminum industry.
“We are ready to explore opportunities for Azerbaijani companies to participate in joint projects in the industrial sector, mining and ore processing industry, aluminum production, hydroenergy, oil and gas, construction, transportation, telecommunications, and the agricultural sector,” the ambassador said.
Ilhom Abdurahmon noted that the development of joint programs in the field of innovative technologies could also be a promising direction for bilateral cooperation. Considering Azerbaijan’s extensive experience in implementing an “e-government” system, he believes it would be beneficial for Tajikistan to collaborate with Azerbaijan to implement a similar system in Tajikistan.
He also mentioned that the creation of joint enterprises for processing agricultural products on Tajikistan’s territory is seen as a productive endeavor.
The ambassador pointed out that Tajikistan has significant potential for developing production in the chemical and mining industries, manufacturing construction materials, as well as substantial reserves for processing primary aluminum, cotton fiber, precious and semi-precious stones, and metal.
He said that during a recent visit by Tajikistan’s Minister of Industry and New Technologies, Sherali Kabir, to the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park, cooperation with Azerbaijan in the development of the aluminum industry and the supply of petroleum coke to Tajikistan was discussed. Tajikistan is also interested in the creation of joint ventures for processing wool, yarn, woolen fabric, and textile products, as well as carpet production.
The ambassador emphasized that the country is interested in Azerbaijani investments and joint implementation of various economic projects in the hydroenergy sector, including the construction of small and large hydroelectric power stations on mutually beneficial terms.
“In this context, I would like to emphasize the significance of Tajikistan’s water-energy programs for the development of the entire Central Asia region. It is well known that Tajikistan is rich in water-energy resources, of which only a small portion is currently being utilized. Meanwhile, the demand for electricity in the region and neighboring countries is growing year by year,” the ambassador said.
The ambassador noted that deepening trade-economic and investment ties is a priority direction of bilateral cooperation.
“In order to take our ties to a qualitatively new level, effective interaction in the trade and economic direction of Tajik-Azerbaijani relations is necessary. There are opportunities for expanding cooperation in the fields of industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, information technology, communications, transportation, energy, tourism, and more,” Abdurahmon said.
He said that this year, direct air communication has been resumed between Dushanbe and Baku.
“We believe that the resumption of flights will open up broader opportunities for the development of cooperation in tourism and trade relations, including the implementation of new investment projects,” the ambassador said.
“Tajikistan possesses significant tourist potential due to its rich culture and historical heritage, unique nature, as well as incomparably high mountains and beautiful lakes that attract people who prefer active leisure,” he said.
He added that Azerbaijan is of great interest to Tajik tourists due to its various cultural and natural attractions that draw travelers from around the world.
“Our citizens are increasingly interested in traveling to Azerbaijan and getting acquainted with the rich culture and unique nature of the Caucasus region. Thanks to this, Tajikistan is actively interested in strengthening and developing cooperation in the field of tourism,” the ambassador said.
He noted that following the 6th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation between Tajikistan and Azerbaijan on July 7, 2023, in Baku, both sides agreed to implement specific projects in the field of strengthening trade and economic cooperation between the countries. This includes the establishment of joint industrial enterprises and the supply of “Azeri Light” crude oil from Azerbaijan for the needs of the oil refinery in the Dangara Special Economic Zone for the further production of petroleum products in Tajikistan.
The ambassador also mentioned that on September 29-30, 2023, the International Investment Forum will be held in Tajikistan. The forum will be held at the initiative and with the participation of the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon.
The goal of the forum is to familiarize participants with Tajikistan’s potential and favorable investment environment, attract investments, establish and strengthen cooperation between domestic companies and foreign investors, and create opportunities for the development of the digital business in line with the country’s fourth strategic goals. The ambassador said he hopes for active participation from Azerbaijani business circles in this forum.