ISLAMABAD, APR 02 (DNA) – Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizade has said as a member country of Economic Cooperation Organisation and some other organizations Pakistan can play significant role in terms of connectivity and integration of Central and South Asian regions, as well as West Asia.He further said, Pakistan can get short access to eastern Europian states through different trasportation corridors such North-South, Lapis-Lazuli etc.
The ambassador expressed these views during an interview on Tuesday.
Ambassador Alizada further said, Pakistan is in the crossroads of three geo-economically important regions of South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia.
Especially it is in the sea route for Central Asian countries. Pakistan can also join and benefit through the different projects implementing in all these three regions in the fields of energy, trade, transportation and tourism, where Azerbaijan and some other countries are also a part and Pakistan as a country located at vital geostrategic crossroads can provide to these countries routes to China and other countries of the region.
Pakistan is a globally and regionally connected transit state and through transit advantages economic connectivity should be as one of its main pillars.
Talking about bilateral relations the ambassador said, Azerbaijan and Pakistan are the two brotherly countries which have very warm relations.
“We have unique commonalities of historical, religious, cultural and political nature that are beyond the geographical distances and divisions. Since Azerbaijan regained its independence, the relations between our two brotherly states accelerated and now demonstrate a rare example of solidarity”.
Pakistan-Azerbaijan have time tested relations which are based on strategic partnership, confidense, mutual respect and trust. The leaders of both countries attach great importance to our relations.
Political, military relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan are at a very high level. It is necessary to make efforts to further boost the economic,tradeand cultural relations between the two countries and reach the same strategic level.
To a question aobut CPEC, he said, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the mega project.
CPEC is a huge regional connectivity project, part of One Belt One Road initiative. This is the main economic project which Pakistan want to implement and the smart realization of this project can open up vast employment opportunities for Pakistanis and promote development of energy sector, infrastructure, industry and etc..Azerbaijan supports Belt and Road initiative.
At present time Azerbaijan continues to be one of the main bridges between Europe and Asia implementing different regional transport corridors and modern infrastructure.
Big international transport projects implementing by Azerbaijan or by the participation of Azerbaijan, such as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, North-South, East-West, Lapis Lazuli, the Baku International Sea Port significantly expand Azerbaijan’s transport capacities, thereby creating new opportunities for the country in terms of implementing major economic and transport projects jointly with Pakistan, China as part of the One-Belt-One Road initiative.
All these projects already further increased the importance of Azerbaijan as a transit country and will reduce cost and time of transportation of goods several times and every participant country will get benefit. We invited Pakistan to join to these projects as well and I think invitation to CPEC can also be considered.
“We signed inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the field of energy, which aimed to supply crudes, refined oil products, LNG and LPG to Pakistan, to attract investments into energy sectors, including the relevant infrastructure and we work on it in order to achieve successful results. I hope we can start to materialize it soon”.
The ambassador siad, a lot of opportunities we also have in banking, transport, communications and high technologies, have the profitable opportunities to further enhance cooperation on economy, trade and agriculture.
There are a lot of potentials on these sectors which even remain non started. Azerbaijan created and is ready to further create more necessary working conditions for Pakistani companies in the country.
Azerbaijan is a state which successfully continues its dynamic development for more than 25 years in all spheres, including socio-economic sphere.
According to World Bank report “Doing Business 2019”, Azerbaijan implemented a record number of reforms among the 10 top improvers and globally, making it easier to do business in Azerbaijan and climbed 32 spots in comparison with last year and ranked 25th among 190 states in 2019 year.
We have industrial, technological, agricultural parks where the investors are enjoyed different tax holidays. We have a great potential for creation of joint ventures in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceutics, weaving, textile, industry, production of agricultural equipment, accumulators, defence and energy industries etc.As I already mentioned Azerbaijan has also a broad transit potential and Pakistani companies can take advantage of it, too.
Azerbaijan he said has a very good tourism infrastructure. The ancient and modern architecture, the unique nature, the rich historical, cultural and natural heritage of the country attracts visitors from all over the world, especially from Pakistan as people of Azerbaijan has a great respect to Pakistanis.
By the decree of President of Azerbaijan visa procedures were simplified from 2017 for Pakistani citizen and now everybody can get visa online.
Due to our relations, developed tourism and service infrastructure, stability and prosperity in the country and of course visa simplicity we achieved good results in the number of visitors from Pakistan to Azerbaijan in past 2 years and we increased it more than 10 times.
Pakistan also made decision to simplify visa procedures and visa will be provided for citizen of 50 countries and for Azerbaijanis on arrival as well.
It is good step taken by the Government of Pakistan which will boost tourism stream from different part of the world to Pakistan and I am sure our citizens would love also to visit Pakistan.
Azerbaijan and Pakistan suffered a lot from terrorism and extremism throughout their history. As a result of Armenia’s military aggression against Azerbaijan, 20 per cent of our land are still under occupation.
As a result of this occupation and the policy of ethnic cleansing, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs in their own land.
Our historically native lands of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts were occupied by Armenia. A war crimes, unbelievable Genocides of Azerbaijanis were committed against our people throughout history and even in the modern period in 1992, in the city of Khojaly, Azerbaijan by armenians.
The Armenians have destroyed our historical and religious monuments, many mosques in the occupied lands.
All international organizations, world countries clearly support position of Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh and one of the strongest supporters is Pakistan.=DNA