There is still over half a year to go before China’s new Foreign Investment Law comes into force, but many Azerbaijani businessmen are already getting eager and looking forward to establish firms here as soon as possible, Azerbaijan's trade representative said recently.
They used to wait for Chinese merchants to come to their doors to buy products, “but things have changed. Now they’d like come here and register companies in China,” said Teymur Nadiroghlu, the Azerbaijan envoy and trade representative to China at the Embassy of Azerbaijan last Tuesday.
“No other country in the world encourages the import of foreign products like China does,” he added. Since 2013, trade between China and Azerbaijan has doubled, and it’s no longer an unusual sight to find Azerbaijan-produced wines and fruit juices on the shelves of China’s supermarkets. However, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to win hearts and minds of Chinese consumers.
Azerbaijan joined the Belt & Road Initiative in 2015 and has been among its strongest supporters ever since. Just last month, Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev visited Beijing, with a large delegation, to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
During the visit, companies from Azerbaijan signed ten agreements worth over $820 million with Chinese enterprises, forging stronger cooperation between the two countries.
Azerbaijan has established several trade houses across China to promote its products, with two more planned in southwest China’s Chengdu and western China’s Xi’an. A top priority of these centers is to promote "Made in Azerbaijan" products and convey the country's business environment, investment and tourism potential.
While oil remains Azerbaijan’s biggest export to China, the south Caucasian country wants to diversify its exports with more agricultural products as well, said Nadiroghlu.
According to him, Azerbaijan pledges to provide preferential policies in its industrial parks to attract Chinese investors and offer better service to Chinese tourists.