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Thursday, January 18, 2018

U.S., Azerbaijan business leader join for briefing on Capitol Hill

The U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce held a congressional briefing on bilateral energy ties, trade and development on Capitol Hill last week.

The briefing included members of Congress, senior U.S. officials, executives of large multinational firms, Azerbaijani government officials and representatives from Washington's business community, according to the USACC.

Susan Sadigova, the executive director of USACC, delivered the opening address, in which she underlined the significance of growing business ties between the two countries. She said the briefing came at a time when Azerbaijan is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, rapidly developing the non-oil sectors of its economy.

Sadigova then presented Elin Suleymanov, the ambassador of Azerbaijan, who said in his speech that the best example of bilateral cooperation is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) project, the result of the Contract of the Century signed in 1994.

Suleymanov said that since then, Azerbaijan has signed several PSA agreements, pointing to a Dec. 17 agreement it signed authorizing a $45 billion investment in the Southern Gas Corridor project, which will transfer Azerbaijani gas to European markets.

Other speakers included the Commerce Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Matthew Murray, who said that economic ties between the U.S. and Azerbaijan amounted to approximately $2 billion.

Murray said that in addition to cooperation in the energy sphere, the two sides should foster closer relations in other sectors of the Azerbaijani economy, especially manufacturing and industry.

Speakers also highlighted bilateral cooperation in aviation, the space industry and high technology.