Economic issues

The Republic of Azerbaijan and UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a member of the UNECE since 1993.

Visits of the UNECE leadership to Azerbaijan

H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan received, on 23 November 2011, Mr. Jan Kubis, the Executive Secretary of the UNECE. At the meeting, J.Kubis recalled his official visit to Azerbaijan in the capacity of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The UNECE Secretary General said he is amazed to see great changes in the country. Kubis highly valued Azerbaijan’s energy policy and regional transportation projects and expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan on behalf of the United Nations for the implementation of Trans-Eurasia Information Superhighway (TASIM) project. Kubis said the UN has an international centres network around the world and is very interested in creation the International IT Centre in Azerbaijan, taking into account the rapid development of information technologies here. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan said Azerbaijan proved out itself as a reliable partner in energy and regional transport projects. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan said IT sector is developing very fast here. Noting the importance of the various projects carried out by the United Nations, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan supported the idea of creation the United Nations IT Centre in Azerbaijan.

Mr. Sven Alkalaj, the Executive Secretary of the UNECE was in Baku on 1-2 December 2013. In Baku, the Executive Secretary visited BakuTel 2013, the largest International Telecommunications and Information Technologies Exhibition in the Caucasus, with Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He held bilateral meetings with Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Ali Abbasov Minister of Communications and Information Technology of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

On 2 December 2013 Minister Elmar Mammadyarov received the delegation led by the Executive Secretary of the UNECE Sven Alkalaj. The current level and the future prospects of the bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNECE were discussed at the very meeting. The signing of the Azerbaijan-EU Agreement on visa facilitation was underlined as a positive step in Azerbaijan-EU cooperation. S.Alkalaj added that UNECE attaches a great importance to its cooperation with Azerbaijan. At the meeting, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Executive Secretary Alkalaj highlighted the importance of broadening the legal framework between Azerbaijan and the UNECE. S.Alkalaj also expressed his satisfaction with the favourable climate provided for foreign investors adding that Azerbaijan’s market remains attractive for the international business community.   

Environment:

The United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention):

The Republic of Azerbaijan has acceded to the United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) on 25 March 1999. Azerbaijani side is of the view that the fulfillment of the obligations, set out in the provisions of the Espoo Convention has vital importance. In this regard, Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the cooperation within the Convention and with the Convention’s Secretariat, and actively participates in the meetings of the Convention.

The 6th session of the Espoo Convention was held in Geneva, from 2 to 5 June 2014. 

Along with other issues during the event the decision was adopted on the submission made by Azerbaijan to the Implementation Committee about Armenia's non-compliance with its obligations under the Espoo Convention with respect to the building of a new Nuclear Power Plant unit in Metsamor, Armenia.

The Meeting of the Parties decided that the Republic of Armenia has breached its obligation deriving from the Espoo Convention with respect to the building of a new Nuclear Power Plant unit in Metsamor, Armenia, and gave a mandate to the Implementation Committee to follow-up and as appropriate, monitor the case.

Sustainable Energy

On 19-21 November 2008, the delegation of Azerbaijan headed by Mr. Natig Aliyev, Ministry of Industry and Energy attended the 17th Annual Session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy of the UNECE held in Geneva.

On 16-20 November 2009, the delegation of Azerbaijan headed by Mr. Aydin Aliyev, the Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan attended the 18th Annual Session of the Committee Sustainable Energy of the UNECE, held in Geneva. During his visit, Mr. Aydin Aliyev held various meetings with the officials of the several international organizations based in Geneva.

Mr. Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Azerbaijan met with Jan Kubiš, Executive Secretary of UNECE on 1 October 2010 in Geneva. Both sides emphasized the high level of cooperation within this organization, successful activity in the fields of energy, transportation, environment, customs, information-communication technologies, trade and other spheres within the UNECE, as well as importance of the elaboration of the new projects in the different spheres of economy and development of cooperation in this direction. Mr. Khalaf Khalafov expressed Azerbaijan’s concern over the construction of a new nuclear power station in Armenia to the Executive Secretary of the UNECE and said that the new nuclear power station constructed on the basis of old one – Metsamor nuclear power station would be a source of serious threats to the environment and socio-economic situation in the region.

SPECA

Ministerial Conference on aid for trade SPECA roadmap was held on 1-2 December 2010 in Baku and Baku Declaration was adopted. UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary participated at the very meeting. Moreover, 5th Session of the SPECA Project Working Group on Trade was held on 2 December 2010 in Baku.

5th Session of the SPECA Project Working Group on Knowledge-based Development was held in Baku on 4 December 2013.

Trade

In 2012, the representative of Azerbaijan was elected as the vice-chairman of the Committee on Trade of the UNECE.

3rd UNECE Forum of Women Entrepreneurs held on 14 - 15 November 2012 in Baku.

The representatives of Azerbaijan have been included in the UNECE Roster of PPP Experts.

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The Republic of Azerbaijan and World Trade Organization (WTO)

Chronology:

Submission of the application expressing the will of the Republic of Azerbaijan to be a member of the WTO to the WTO Secretariat

23.06.1997

Establishment of the Working Group on Azerbaijan at the WTO Secretariat

16.07.1997

Submission of the memorandum on foreign trade regime of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the WTO Secretariat

22.04.1999

Setting up Interorganizational Coordination Group on accelerating membership process of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the WTO

19.11.1999

Holding the First Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

3-7 June 2002

Forming a Commission on preparatory works concerning the membership of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the WTO

22.08.2003

Holding the Second Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

14.10.2004

Holding the Third Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

30.06.2005

Holding the Fourth Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

30.03.2006

Holding the Fifth Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

06.05.2008

Holding the Sixth Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

11.12.2008

Holding the Seventh Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

24.07.2009

Holding the Eighth Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

18.10.2010

Holding the Ninth Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

24.02.2012

Holding the Tenth Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

07.12.2012

Holding the Eleventh Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan in Geneva

21.02.2014

The First Session: 07.06.2002. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

With holding of the First Session of the WTO Working Group on Azerbaijan, a new phase of membership process of our Republic to the WTO started.
The First Session of the Working Group on Azerbaijan was attended by the representatives of 28 WTO members in Geneva and devoted to the discussion of the memorandum on foreign trade regime and the replies given to the questions of the WTO members. The member countries expressed their readiness to render every help to Azerbaijan in the works done in the field of membership. Provision of technical and institutional assistance to Azerbaijan by Turkey, European Union, and the United States of America were of special importance. The representatives of Canada, Australia, European Union, as well as the United States of America posed a lot of questions. Bilateral meetings were held with the representatives of 9 WTO members-Australia, the USA, Lithuania, Moldova, Georgia, the European Union, Sweden, Canada and Turkey.

The Second Session: 12-15 October 2004. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

The documents submitted by Azerbaijan were discussed at this session. Meetings were held with the S.Panitchpakti, the Director-General of the WTO, Arif Huseyn, Head of the Accession Division of the WTO Secretariat, W.Lewalter, the Chairman of the WTO Working Group on Azerbaijan, as well as the Permanent Representatives of Turkey and Pakistan to the WTO, including the experts of WTO Secretariat.

The Third Session: 27 June 27 – 1 July 2005. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

During this session, Mr. M. Mammad-Guliyev, the Head of the WTO Accession Negotiation Team on the membership of Azerbaijan to the WTO gave general information about the submitted documents and the overall economic situation of the country. Replies were given to the questions of the Working Group members (USA, European Union, Australia, Japan, Canada and etc).
Also, plurilateral meeting on agriculture (USA, Australia, Canada, Malaysia) and bilateral meetings with the USA, the European Union and Canada were held.
Meetings were held with the representatives of Moldova, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, as well as with the UNCTAD experts.

The Fourth Session: 30 March 2006. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

During the visit, the WTO Accession Negotiation Team took part at the session of the Working Group, held meetings on agriculture and bilateral negotiations with the USA, European Union, Turkey, Chinese Taipei, Canada and Japan.

The Fifth Session: 6 May 2008. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

During this session the relevant documents (revised offers on goods and services, about 30 drafts of legal acts prepared with the purpose of bringing national legislation into conformity with WTO requirements, ad valorem equivalence of specific duties, etc.) were presented. At the end of the meeting, decision was made on preparation of Factual Summary on Azerbaijan.

The Sixth Session: 11 December 2008. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

The Head of the WTO Accession Negotiation Team of the Republic of Azerbaijan stated that, Azerbaijani Government attaches significance to the development of non-oil sector and diversification of economy. He has also informed the participants of the meeting about the reforms conducted in this field. It was noted that, as a landlocked developing country, Azerbaijan aims to integrate into the multilateral trading system under favourable conditions in order to ensure sustainable socio-economic development of country. Hence, revised offers on goods and services and other necessary documents were submitted to the WTO Secretariat. On the basis of the submitted documents, several bilateral meetings were held. Besides, WTO members were informed about measures on bringing the national legislation into the conformity with WTO requirements and the discussions were held on the Factual Summary prepared by WTO Secretariat. Participants of the meeting supported membership of Azerbaijan and appreciated the implemented measures and their results. Brazil, India and Paraguay declared their support on the membership of Azerbaijan to WTO as a landlocked developing country.

The Seventh Session: 24 July 2009. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. M. Mammad-Guliyev gave a speech on socio-economic development, economic diversification and development of non-oil sector in Azerbaijan. Egypt, Turkey, Paraguay, Brazil, China, Pakistan, Jordan supported Azerbaijan’s accession under favourable terms and praised steps by Azerbaijan in this direction. Although, during the plurilateral negotiation on agriculture, the USA and EU stressed their position about Azerbaijan’s accession to the WTO with a status of developed country, Azerbaijani side stated that it would be inconsistent with the national and economic concerns and insisted on acceding as a developing country. During the meeting, the WTO members agreed to submit new and follow-up questions on Azerbaijan’s foreign trade regime to the WTO Secretariat.

The Eight Session: 18 October 2010. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev gave a speech on socio-economic development, economic diversification and development of non-oil sector in Azerbaijan. Participants were informed on several documents prepared and submitted to the WTO Secretariat, including justification on “developing country status”, status of legislative reforms, as well as revised offers in goods and services. Representatives of different members (Turkey, USA, EU, Canada, India, Pakistan, Norway, Japan) supported Azerbaijan’s accession to the WTO under favourable terms and appreciated activities of Azerbaijan in this regard. During the meeting, the additional questions of members have been answered.

The Ninth Session: 24 February 2012. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

The 9th Meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Azerbaijan to the WTO, bilateral and multilateral negotiations took place in Geneva on February 20-24, 2012. At the 9th meeting of the Working Party, held on 24th February, the Head of the Azerbaijani delegation and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. M. Mammad-Guliyev gave a speech on socio-economic development, economic diversification and development of non-oil sector in Azerbaijan. He said that Azerbaijan faced the challenge of high dependence on the oil and gas sector. Therefore, diversifying the economy was a priority of the Government in order to foster the socio-economic development of its regions. During the meeting, WTO members requested more information on Azerbaijan’s pricing policies, state trading enterprises, investment regime, competition policy, trading rights, tariff rate quotas, export duties and restrictions, export subsidies, agricultural policy, trade remedies, free trade zones, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade and government procurement. The questions were replied by the Azerbaijani representatives. Besides, bilateral meeting was held with Mr. W.Lewalter, the Chairperson of the Working Party.

The Tenth Session: 7 December 2012. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

During the meeting, the Head of the Azerbaijani delegation and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. M. Mammad-Guliyev mentioned that Azerbaijan faces the challenge of high dependence on the oil and gas sector. Therefore, diversifying the economy is a priority of the Government to foster the social and economic development. He noted that Azerbaijan had signed a bilateral agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic and had recently concluded bilateral negotiations with China. The representatives of China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States expressed their support on Azerbaijan’s accession to the WTO. During the meeting, following trade related issues were discussed: elimination of export ban, harmonization of excise tax, elimination of export subsidies in agriculture, clarifications on fees and charges for services rendered, legislation in technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures, etc. Mr. W.Lewalter, the Chairperson of the Working Party, concluded the meeting by noting that the discussions had been useful. He encouraged the delegation of Azerbaijan to continue negotiations with the WTO members in a proactive manner.

The Eleventh Session: 17-21 February, 2014. Geneva, WTO Secretariat.

The 11th meeting of Working Party on Accession of Azerbaijan to WTO, bilateral and multilateral negotiations took place in Geneva on February 17-21, 2014. On 18-21 February bilateral negotiations were conducted with the representatives of USA, EU, Japan, Canada, Norway, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei on goods and services and with Brazil, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Ecuador on goods. Negotiating countries requested Azerbaijan to reduce offered bound tariff rates in some agricultural and industrial goods, joining to sectoral initiatives on Paper and Civil Aviation, introduced interested high priority tariff lines. In services negotiations current applied quota on hiring of foreign specialist in mode 4 (movement of natural persons), also liberalization of energy-related, transport, construction, education services and access to oil and gas pipelines were discussed. During the following round of multilateral negotiations on Agriculture held on 20th February Azerbaijani Domestic Support Table in Agriculture representing 2010-2012 fiscal years, subsidies in agriculture sector were discussed with the representatives of different WTO Members. At the end of the meeting it was decided that Azerbaijan would submit Domestic Support Table representing 2011-2013 fiscal years to the Members. The 11th meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Azerbaijan was held on 21 February, 2014. During the meeting the head of the Azerbaijani delegation and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev spoke about the latest bilateral market access negotiations on goods and services, legislative developments, the latest documents submitted to WTO Secretariat (Legislative Action Plan, TBT and SPS Checklists, General Offers on Goods and Services) and reaffirmed Azerbaijani commitment to bring its trade regime into conformity with WTO rules. Representatives from the United States, China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, Turkey, Tajikistan, South Korea, Canada and others expressed their support for Azerbaijan’s early accession to WTO. During the meeting, WTO members revised Azerbaijan’s trade regime on the basis of the Draft Working Party Report and asked some clarifications on following trade related issues: tax exemptions, investment incentives, operation of foreign-owned enterprises, privatizations, technical barriers to trade, subsidies, transit and intellectual property, etc. The Chairperson of the Working Party, Mr. Walter Lewalter concluded the meeting by saying that discussions had been useful. Next steps will be submitting of questions by WTO Members to Azerbaijani side.

Mr. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister visited Geneva on 30 June – 4 July 2014 and during his visit met with the WTO Director-General, his deputy, as well as Mr. Ralf Peters, the UNCTAD expert. Moreover, in the framework of the WTO accession process, bilateral meetings were held with China, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Canada, Malaysia, Honduras, USA, Norway, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

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The Republic of Azerbaijan and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The Republic of Azerbaijan has joined to the WIPO in 1995. Currently, Azerbaijan is a party to the following WIPO-administered treaties:

·         Berne Convention

·         Budapest Treaty

·         Hague Agreement

·         Locarno Agreement

·         Madrid Agreement (Marks)

·         Madrid Protocol

·         Nairobi Treaty

·         Nice Agreement

·         Paris Convention

·         Patent Cooperation Treaty

·         Phonograms Convention

·         Rome Convention

·         Strasbourg Agreement

·         UPOV Convention

·         WIPO Convention

·         WIPO Copyright Treaty

·         WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

The Director General of the WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris, met with Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of Republic Azerbaijan on March 3, 2006 to discuss a number of bilateral issues and the importance of intellectual property as a strategic tool for development and wealth creation.

The meeting took place following talks with the Cabinet of Ministers and the signing of a cooperation program between WIPO and the Government of Azerbaijan. Dr. Idris was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Azerbaijan during his official visit to Baku.

Dr. Idris pledged WIPO's continued support of Azerbaijan in upgrading and modernizing its intellectual property infrastructure and applauded Azerbaijan's commitment to the promotion and protection of intellectual property rights. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of Republic Azerbaijan highlighted the significance of the cooperation program which he said is a very important step forward in light of his country's shift towards a market economy. Dr. Idris said the program will be implemented in a way that "serves the interests of the country, its people and government."

During talks with the President, particular emphasis was placed on the development of human resources in Azerbaijan to ensure that the country was in a position to fully harness the value to be derived from efficient use of the intellectual property system. The importance of raising public awareness about the importance of intellectual property to development was also underlined.

The Director-General also met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, and with Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, who was awarded the WIPO Creativity Award for her contribution to the preservation and development of the national cultural heritage of Azerbaijan.

Dr. Idris also met with scientists and artists to discuss the importance of promoting awareness of intellectual property and its potential as a tool for development.

Every year, the high level delegation of Azerbaijan participates at the meetings of the WIPO General Assemblies, meet with the Director-General of the WIPO and the Director of the Department for Transition and Developed Countries.

Moreover, the government representatives periodically attend the sessions of the various WIPO Committees, as well as the courses and trainings organized by the WIPO academy.

Under the patronage of the WIPO Academy, Azerbaijani representatives received their master’s degree on intellectual property at the Turin University of Italy.

Azerbaijan has been a regional coordinator within the WIPO during 2010-2011.

Enforcement Centre on Intellectual Property Rights was established under the Copyright Agency became a member of the WIPO Global Network of Intellectual Property Academies.

WIPO Depository Library was created at the Azerbaijan State Economic University in 2012.

With the support of the WIPO, several international national events have been organized in Azerbaijan. A number of WIPO experts visited Azerbaijan to attend the very events.

The meeting was held, on 13 January 2014, between the Ambassador, Permanent Representative M.Najafbayli and F.Gurry, the Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

F.Gurry has noted that, during the recent years under his leadership, a number of developments have occurred within the WIPO, 2 new multilateral treaties have been adopted, global intellectual property system has been strengthened, intellectual property services have been broadened, the soundness of the financial resources of the WIPO has been ensured, productivity and efficiency have been increased, very good information technology system has been created in order to connect all countries.

F.Gurry has also mentioned that, there are close cooperation ties between the WIPO and Azerbaijan. He has noted that, Azerbaijan develops quite fast, therefore linking intellectual property and economic development goals can positively contribute to the sustainable development and the development of the knowledge economy in Azerbaijan.

Ambassador, Permanent Representative M.Najafbayli has noted the recent developments in the field of intellectual property in Azerbaijan, as well as the role of the intellectual property in the economy of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Ambassador, Permanent Representative M.Najafbayli highlighted that the current level of relations between Azerbaijan and the WIPO is high. Ambassador, Permanent Representative M.Najafbayli has also informed about the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan. 

H.E. Dr. Francis Gurry, the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) paid a visit to Azerbaijan on 13-15 May 2014. H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has received WIPO Director General.
WIPO Director General noted with pleasure that Baku was a beautiful city. President Ilham Aliyev noted that Baku had been developing day after day, and had become the venue of political, economic and other prestigious international events. Also, views were exchanged, during the very meeting, over the expansion of the cooperation between relevant organizations in Azerbaijan and the WIPO.

In the framework of the visit, F.Gurry held also meetings at the Cabinet of Ministers and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a result of the visit, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and WIPO.

F.Gurry has visited the Public Administration Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and received the diploma of the honorary doctor.

The report entitled “Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014: The Human Factor in Innovation”(http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/freepublications/en/economics/gii/gii_2014.pdfhas been published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The GII ranks the innovation performance of 143 countries and economies around the world based on 81 indicators. The GII ranks world economies based on the following indicators: institutions; human capital and research; infrastructure; market sophistication; business sophistication; knowledge and technology outputs; creative outputs.

Azerbaijan was highly ranked on the following indicators: ease of starting a business (13), market sophistication (26), micro-financing gross loans (15), investment (10), ease of protecting investors (21), non-agricultural market access weighted tariff (9), foreign direct investment net outflow (8), information-communication technologies and organization model creation (23).

The core of the GII Report consists of a ranking of world economies’ innovation capabilities and results. The GII has established itself as a leading reference among innovation indices.

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The Republic of Azerbaijan and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan received UNCTAD Secretary General Supachai Panitchpakdi on 20 July 2010. S.Panitchpakdi thanked H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the conditions created for the 19th regional courses on Europe and the CIS, organized by the UNCTAD and Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku. He praised cooperation between Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy and UNCTAD. The guest also congratulated H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the achievements, which allowed Azerbaijan to become the region`s leader at a time when importance of the region was on the rise. H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan noted the importance of organizing the XIX regional courses on Europe and the CIS in Baku. H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan expressed hope that the event would host interesting discussions and yield fruitful results.

Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan met with S.Panitchpakdi on 20 July 2010. UNCTAD`s chief said that he arrived in Baku to attend the 19th regional course on key issues on the international economic agenda organized by the UNCTAD and Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Panitchpakdi said he was impressed of dynamic development in Azerbaijan, praising the progress in the non-oil sector of the country. Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated that the Government had been doing great efforts to develop the non-oil sector. Minister Elmar Mammadyarov raised the UNCTAD chief`s awareness of the peace talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, saying the problem must only be solved in accordance with international legal norms and principles, in particular territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Other issues of mutual interest were also discussed during the very meeting.

The Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy and the UNCTAD organized a joint 2-week course entitled "key issues of the world economy for countries with transition economies" in July 2010 in Baku. In his opening speech, the Rector of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, Mr. Hafiz Pashayev, touched upon vital issues related to developments facing Azerbaijan. The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister spoke about the strong performance of the country’s economy: “It is worth underlining the serious efforts taken by the government of Azerbaijan to reduce poverty in the country. More than 700 000 new jobs have been created and special development programs have been successfully applied regarding socio-economic development of regions in Azerbaijan. As a result, Azerbaijan has become the locomotive of whole Caucasus region. Talking about the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, Ambassador Pashayev said that it is a relatively new school which has embraced contemporary and state-of-the-art knowledge about international relations and diplomacy. Ambassador Pashayev noted that the number of students at the school will increase substantially, taking into account that the number of Azerbaijani embassies abroad more than doubled during last 5 years. Ambassador Pashayev also reminded the audience that ADA’s new campus will be powered largely by clean energy and is a part of the government’s broader policy toward investing in renewable energy.

S.Panitchpakdi welcomed the participants emphasizing the importance of emerging and developing countries like Azerbaijan in overcoming the difficulties of the most recent world economic crisis. He noticed Azerbaijan’s strong economic records during the turbulences of the world economy: “Azerbaijan has generally avoided steep exchange-rate depreciations, systemic banking crises and rapidly rising rates of inflation that were among the key characteristics of previous crises in emerging markets”. The UNCTAD Secretary General praised Azerbaijan government policy toward investing in infrastructure, health care and medicine, and education. S.Panitchpakdi noted Azerbaijan’s role in bringing prosperity to the Caucasus and called country’s economy a “stability factor” for a whole region. The conference was attended by representatives of over 10 countries and will last until 6 August 2010.

During 2008-2013, Azerbaijan financially contributed to the UNCTAD Trust Fund. UNCTAD Secretary General sent a letter to the Mission of Azerbaijan and highly appreciated the very contribution.

With the support of the UNCTAD Division on International Trade and Commodities, the members of the WTO Accession Negotiation Team of Azerbaijan visited Geneva in order to discuss several issues regarding the accession process.

With the support of the UNCTAD Secretariat, a number of Azerbaijani representatives attended expert meetings, public symposium and courses organized by the UNCTAD.

Azerbaijan State Economic University became the member of the UNCTAD Virtual Institute in 2011.

In 2010-2011, Azerbaijan was elected as the vice-president of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board. Since 2011, Azerbaijan is the member of the UNCTAD Advisory Board for the paragraph 166 program.

The representatives of Azerbaijan have delivered, several times, speeches, during the UNCTAD meetings, on the achievements made to ensure socio-economic development, diversification of economy and development of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan.