Czech Republic eyes co-op with Azerbaijan in areas with higher degree of sophistication
Czech Republic eyes to cooperate with Azerbaijan in areas with higher degree of sophistication, Milan Ekert, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan said in an interview with Trend.
“I am proud that Czech companies had the opportunity to participate at all those strategic projects, which have had tremendous impact on the development of the country’s economy. Azerbaijan put up much effort in development of its transport infrastructure and those efforts bore fruit. Main parts of the road and railway networks are already functioning or will be finished soon. That means that the core part of cooperation between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan will have to change as well. Our aim is to move from development of transport infrastructure to areas with higher degree of sophistication and even larger perspectives for long-term cooperation such as mechanical engineering, use of intelligent technologies and modern approaches in agriculture,” said the diplomat.
Ekert recalled that all the works connected with the modernization of the Azerbaijani part of the BTK corridor were carried out by the Czech company Moravia Steel and its subsidiary Třinec Ironworks.
“The first was responsible for the project documentation as well as for its implementation on the ground. The latter was responsible for deliveries of high quality steel products like rails, railway superstructure accessories, etc. The enormous project started in 2011 and involved a complete replacement of 917 km of rail tracks and all other necessary equipment. For practical reasons, the construction works were divided into three phases, the last of which was successfully completed in June 2019. Investments required for the implementation of the project (about $1 billion) were provided by a consortium of Czech and international banks and insured by the Czech Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation,” he said.
The diplomat said that the two countries are standing on a brink of new era in the economic relations.
“We were able to quickly enlarge our cooperation to the point where the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan have become strategic partners with volumes of mutual trade turnover in 2018 reaching $1.3 billion. For the first half of 2019, the mutual trade turnover has reached the amount of $606 million USD so I can safely say that this year’s figures will be most probably similar if not higher,” he said.