Gulf investors to meet in Baku to study investment opportunities

By Amina Nazarli

Arab investors will come together in Baku in early December to attend the International Investment Forum.

The event, scheduled for December 8, will be organized in order to attract investments from Persian Gulf countries, a source in the business community told Trend.

The investors will get acquainted with the recent reforms taken in Azerbaijan to improve the business environment and support the business doing. Presentation of investment opportunities of the country will also be carried out during the event.

The trade turnover with the Persian Gulf counties amounted to almost $192 million in January-August 2016, compared to $250.3 million during the same period of last year, according to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee.

Huge oil and gas reserves, among other things, make the Arabian Gulf region including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates one of the most strategically important places in the world.

Being part of the Islamic world and sharing the progressive heritage and spiritual values of Islamic civilization, Azerbaijan attaches great importance to developing relations with the Islamic countries, and the Gulf states in particular.

Alongside very strong political ties, numerous opportunities for expanding economic cooperation exist between these countries.

Azerbaijan and Qatar, which established diplomatic relations in September 1994, enjoy significant prospects for cooperating in the tourism, education, agriculture, investment making, ICT and cargo transportation sectors.

Azerbaijan and UAE enjoy fruitful cooperation in various fields and their mutual relations are developing both in the political, economic and cultural fields with ascending line.

Recently, the two countries agreed to establish a joint investment fund to facilitate the implementation of joint investment in mutually beneficial projects. The sides eye invest making  in the areas that stimulate the growth of mutual investments and increase trade, particularly in agriculture, food processing, logistics and transport systems.

The two countries enjoy good opportunities in tourism sector. Starting November 10, 2015, citizens of the UAE has visited Azerbaijan on a simplified procedure. They can obtain entry visa, valid for 30 days’ stay, at any international airport in Azerbaijan.

Overall, in the first half of 2016, Azerbaijan was visited by 25,000 tourists from Arab countries, while the figure approximately 22,000 people or eight times more than in the same period of last year.

The main reason for the rising number of Arab tourists is the introduction of a simplified visa regime from this year for citizens of Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and other countries.

Among the Gulf countries, Kuwait is a country that is located closer to Azerbaijan. Last May, Azerbaijan and Kuwait signed an aviation agreement, aiming at boosting commercial cooperation in between a number of airlines from both countries to facilitate passenger traffic.

Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli