Joint Intergovernmental Commission
The 4th Session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan will open today at the Foreign Ministry following up on the meeting held in Baku in December 2013.
The opening address by Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will be followed by a plenary session co-chaired by the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Benedetto Della Vedova, and by Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister, Natig Aliyev. The plenary session will be closed by Cabinet Undersecretary, Claudio de Vincenti.
The Intergovernmental Commission meeting will focus on boosting economic and commercial relations, especially in the sectors of energy, the agro-food industry and infrastructure, with the aim of singling out sectors with a growth potential in order to further strengthen the two Countries’ already sturdy bilateral economic relations. Italy has long been Azerbaijan’s leading importing country (in 2015 it was Italy’s number one crude oil supplier) and its fourth-largest exporter after Russia, Turkey and Germany, with export volumes up to almost 660 million euros in 2015.
Testifying to the importance of Azerbaijan as Italy’s trade partner, the Intergovernmental Commission will also be open to the participation of the largest Italian companies that hold interests in the Country.
The afternoon programme will continue with the Italy-Azerbaijan Business Forum, a debate organised in partnership with ICE – Agenzia on the perspectives of strengthening industrial and trade relations.
The Forum will be organised into three sessions, dedicated to the following sectors:
- – Energy
- – Infrastructure/Logistics
- – Agro-food industry
- – Medical (health and chemical and pharmaceutical sectors)
The opening remarks will be made by Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Benedetto Della Vedova and by Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister, Natig Aliyev, while the closing remarks will be made by the Director General for Cultural and Economic Promotion and Innovation, Vincenzo De Luca.
The plenary will be followed by a session of B2B meetings between the entrepreneurs of the two Countries.
Despite Azerbaijan’s slight economic slowdown in 2016, Italian companies continue to hold a strong interest in its market, as proven by the participation in the Business Forum of more than 200 representatives from Italian companies, agencies and associations interested in exploring the potential offered by one of the most dynamic countries in the region, also in the light of Azerbaijan’s ambitious programmes to diversify its economy.