No avoided topics in Belarus-Azerbaijan relations: president

There are no avoided topics in Belarus-Azerbaijan relations, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as he met with Yagub Eyubov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, on 23 October, BELTA news agency reported.

The President said that the nations of Belarus and Azerbaijan are connected by brotherly ties. The Azerbaijani have no grudge against the Belarusians while the Belarusians have no problems with the Azerbaijani, added the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that cooperation with Azerbaijan is very profitable for Belarus as the two economies are complementary and have no competing points. "With great pleasure we are ready to diversify our economic activities and cater to Azerbaijan which we do already," he said.

Apart from that, the Belarus President mentioned friendly relations between him and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev. "We've been great friends with his father Heydar Aliev [a former Azerbaijan President]. We had very good relations," stressed the Belarusian head of state.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus sees the interest of the Azerbaijani leadership in cooperation with Belarus. "I know that Azerbaijan has problems and I know the key one but I think that everything can be fixed. The potential that you have allows you to resolve any problems," the Belarusian head of state was confident.

The President made it clear that Belarus cooperates with Azerbaijan not only because the latter has a major potential but also because the Azerbaijani leadership are interested in such cooperation.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that Yagub Eyubov's visit to Belarus prior to the oncoming visit of the Azerbaijan President to Belarus in November is very important. "Everything we can do for Azerbaijan, we will do. I would like us to accomplish a couple of breakthrough projects with you," added the Belarus President.

For Azerbaijan, Belarus is an important strategic partner, said Yagub Eyyubov.

"Belarus is a very important strategic partner for Azerbaijan, as it enjoys prestige in the world, said Yagub Eyyubov. - We know that Belarus is a country with which we must make friends and maintain good economic and political relations. It is very important. "

In 2008 Belarus-Azerbaijan trade totaled $117.7 million, 25.9% up on 2007. Belarus exported $105.4 million worth of commodities to Azerbaijan (22% up) and imported $6.2 million worth of commodities (90.9% up). The foreign trade surplus reached $99.2 million. In 2008 the export of services amounted to $4.4 million (80.9% up), import - $1.6 million (20.4% up). The trade surplus reached $2.8 million.

In January-August 2009 the bilateral trade amounted to $71.5 million (90.4% as against the same period of last year). Belarus' export totaled $68.861 million (91.4%), import - $2.6 million (70.1%).

Belarus mainly exports mechanical engineering products (30% of the total export in cost terms) to Azerbaijan as well as food (12%), woodworking industry products (7%), construction industry products (ceramic tiles, polished glass, glassware - 7%), medications (4%), petrochemical products (tires, ethylene polymer - 2.5%).

Import from Azerbaijan is dominated by agricultural products and raw materials, including fruit and vegetable juices, nuts, raw tobacco, petrochemical products, including fabric made of synthesized multifilament yarn, acyclic spirits, aluminum oxides and hydroxides.

Belarus-Azerbaijan trade and economic cooperation is not limited to export and import operations and includes manufacturing cooperation. Azerbaijan assembles Belarusian tractors, trucks, optical equipment, considers the possibility of assembling automobile cranes, elevators, agricultural machines, mirror sheets.



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