EMBASSY OF INDIA, BAKU. NO. BKU/COM/201/1/2012 May 15, 2012 ANNUAL ECONOMIC & COMMERCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR-2011

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1 EMBASSY OF INDIA, BAKU NO. BKU/COM/201/1/2012 May 15, 2012 ANNUAL ECONOMIC & COMMERCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR-2011 (I). OVERVIEW OF AZERBAIJAN S ECONOMY: In 2011, according to the President of Azerbaijan its economy grew by only 0.1%. The non-oil sector saw a 9.4% increase which in effect means that the oil and gas sector contracted by a similar margin. Inflation was 8%, and people s income grew by 19.6% in Investments reached US$20 billion, with domestic investments accounting for US$13 billion. The unemployment level fell to 5.4 % in 2011, while the poverty level declined to 7.6 %. Currency reserves of Azerbaijan s Central Bank increased by nearly $5 billion (64%) in 2011 to reach over $10 billion. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has invested US$ million in Azerbaijan s economy so far, ADB representative said at a conference in Baku on February 21. The priority areas of the ADB investment in Azerbaijan are in the sphere of transport, urban infrastructure, energy sector, the banking sector (trade financing) and the industry Azerbaijan s draft state budget for 2012 was approved by Parliament on December 6, The budget revenues are expected to be AZN billion (US$ billion). Thus, the budget deficit will reach about US$ 813 million. The Azerbaijani economy has tripled in the past seven years, President Ilham Aliyev told the World Economic Forum in Davos. He said that the main goals are to double the gross domestic product which has already increased three-fold and to double the economy mainly by boosting the non-energy sector. Thus, in 2011 the non-oil industry increased 11 %. (II) HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA- AZERBAIJAN TRADE & ECONOMIC RELATIONS: In 2009, total trade with Azerbaijan was around to US$ 322 million. It increased marginally to around to US$ 331 million in 2010, and then grew substantially to US$ 411 million in 2011, an increase of 22.7%. The main items of import from India in 2011 were meat, tea, rice, pharmaceutical products, intellectual cards, polyethylene

2 and other chemicals. Some new products like small cars and mobile telephone handsets which entered the country for the first time in 2010 have increased their penetration in Other important items imported from India are cloths and textiles, jewellery and boilers and other plant equipment. Azerbaijan s principal export to India is crude oil. There is large quantity of imports from India, particularly garments, diamonds and jewellery, which are not reflected in the import/ export data either in India or in Azerbaijan probably due to re-invoicing from UAE and Turkey. Trade comparative figures of imports and exports year wise between India and Azerbaijan are as given as below: BILATERAL TRADE BETWEEN INDIA AND AZERBAIJAN [DURING THE PERIOD ] YEAR IMPORT FORM INDIA EXPORT TO INDIA TOTAL [Source: Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee]. (III). SIGNIFICANT TRADE & ECONOMIC EXCHANGES BETWEEN INDIA AND AZERBAIJAN IN A multi-sector business delegation from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) visited Baku from 30 March to 01 April, The delegation representing leading companies from India in diverse fields such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare and herbal products, agricultural and processed food products, textiles, garments and yarn products, gems and jewellery, chemicals, agri

3 machinery, minerals and metals, petroleum products, engineering and consultancy, technology service providers, construction materials and infrastructure. A cooperation agreement was signed by Mammad Musayev, the President of Azerbaijan s National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers ) Organizations and Ms Sheila Sudhakaran, Assistant Secretary General of FICCI during the Interactive Business Session on 30th March, 2011 organized by the Indian Embassy, at which more than 30 local business persons also participated. The delegation also participated in a seminar and held B to B meetings organized by AzPromo (Azerbaijani Export & Investment Promotion Foundation) at the Baku Business Center on 31st March, GOI Tourism Office, Frankfurt, participated in the Azerbaijan International Truism Fair (AITF 2011), held in Baku on April, 2011.At the Incredible India pavilion two tour operators from India also participated in the event. The 17 th World Food Exhibition, which was held at the Baku Expo Center from May, Two officials from Spices Board of India and Premier s Tea Limited, Kolkata participated and exhibited their products in their respective stalls at the exhibition. The 18th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference Incorporating Refining & Petrochemicals, which was held at Baku Expo Center from 7-10 June, An official of Larsen & Toubro Limited attended this exhibition and held several meetings with local and international companies on business development issues, particularly in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries sectors. A Forum on Investment and Doing Business with India was held on 27 th July, 2011, by the Indian Embassyin association with the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers ) Organizations, Prominent business persons and entities, including print and electronic media participated in the event. The Forum was presided over by the President of the Confederation. Two power-point presentations were made by the Indian Ambassador and Commercial Officer respectively, followed by a Q&A session. The President of the Confederation suggested setting up a business council with India taking the fact into account that Azerbaijan has such councils with a number of countries. The Confederation President also suggested publishing a catalogue of Indian businessmen who want to

4 do business in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani entrepreneurs looking to do business in India. The third round of the India-Azerbaijan Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) was held in Baku from September The Indian delegation was led by Secretary (East), MEA and the Azerbaijani delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister. Secretary (East) also held meetings with the Minister for Economic Development and with the Deputy Minister for Industry and Energy. During the FOC, the two sides discussed in detail bilateral relations, with particular focus on strengthening cooperation in the political, trade, economic and cultural fields and people to people exchanges. On the sidelines of FOC, an OVL representative held a meeting with SOCAR( the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan). (III). REGIONAL / MULTILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS: Transport officials of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran signed three cooperation agreements after talks in Tehran on February 8, including a trilateral deal on a key transport project that will link Asia and Europe through Iran. The agreement envisions speeding the implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)project. Another deal, inked by Iran and Russia, covers the construction of railroads and logistics cooperation as well as supplying the Tehran- Bandar-Abbas railway with electric power. Under the other agreement, Azerbaijan and Iran pledged to cooperate in implementing railway projects. Earlier, Azerbaijan Railways had attended a trilateral meeting with Russia and Iran on 31 st January in Tehran, which focused on the issues of establishing a joint venture for the construction of the Rasht-Astara (Iran) -Astara (Azerbijan) railway. EU sanctions against Iran would not harm the realization of railway projects, President of the Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin said. The Russian official noted that construction of the Rasht (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) railway line, built with assistance of the Azerbaijani Railways and the Iranian Railways, will continue despite sanctions. On December 26, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement for establishment of a joint consortium of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), the Turkish pipeline company BOTAS and Turkish petroleum company TPAO to build a pipeline

5 to transport Azeri gas to Europe through Turkey.. The construction of pipeline is scheduled to begin in 2012 and will be completed in This issue with the approval of Ambassador. T.R.Meena, First Secretary & HOC, Embassy of India, Baku S(Azerbaijan) Tel; / ,Fax: Website:

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