Israel will encourage and support local investors showing real interest in Azerbaijan, Israel’s Minister of Finance Avigdor Lieberman said in an exclusive interview with Trend, while on a visit to Azerbaijan.
The minister noted that his visit was timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of establishing Azerbaijan-Israel diplomatic relations.
"We have done a lot in 30 years. I remember our meeting with Heydar Aliyev in 1997 and I’m still surprised by his insight and far-sightedness. He was the first who had clearly pointed out the potential of bilateral relations and mutual benefit between Israel and Azerbaijan. I’m so glad that his policy is successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev who gives new impetus to our relations," Lieberman said.
Furthermore, the Israeli minister of tourism paid a visit to Azerbaijan three weeks ago, the minister of agriculture will come in two weeks, and the president of Israel will hopefully visit the country in a month.
According to Lieberman, Azerbaijan has opened Trade and Tourism Representative Offices in Israel. Moreover, the countries have established close energy cooperation, as well as consider the possibility of implementing joint projects in the field of energy and agriculture.
"Our cooperation contributes to the development of economy, human relations, and diplomatic ties between the two states. During my visit, I met with the ministers of finance and economy, as well as with a number of high-level officials. We talked about cybersecurity cooperation, addressed protecting financial institutions from hackers, outlined a long-term development plans, and etc.," Lieberman said.
The minister also stressed that Israel appreciates Azerbaijan's assistance in joining the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
"We see the real interest of our business community in Azerbaijan and we will encourage them and provide loans, if necessary. The most attractive economic sectors of Azerbaijan for Israeli investors are water, agriculture, agricultural products processing, dairy farming, and much more. Tourism is also a promising area of bilateral cooperation, so the Israeli tourist flow to Azerbaijan has resumed,” Lieberman said.
Speaking of the active participation of Israeli companies in Karabakh projects, the minister stressed the significance of Karabakh in terms of agriculture, dairy farming, and a number of other industries.
"We will certainly take an active part in the restoration of Azerbaijan’s liberated territories. I do hope for signing of agricultural agreements during the visit of the Israeli minister of agriculture" he emphasized.
The minister also highlighted the recent progress towards the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
"Resolving conflicts and cooperating are always better than fighting. We look forward to the signing of a peace agreement, which will benefit not only Azerbaijan and Armenia, but the whole region. This can serve as a positive signal for the entire world community, especially amidst recent world events, to invest the main efforts in economic development, not in wars and conflicts," Lieberman said.