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USACC Hosts Seminar on Investment Opportunities in Azerbaijan in 2011

USACC Hosts Seminar on Investment Opportunities in Azerbaijan in 2011

Washington, D.C. – February 2, 2011. – The United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) organized a breakfast seminar entitled "Investing in Azerbaijan in 2011 - Oil as a Catalyst for Broader Growth." Speakers from both the public and private sectors shared their views on growing investment opportunities in Azerbaijan, including key issues that investors should consider when investing in the country.

The event provided insights and detailed analyses on various investment opportunities that are available for American companies in Azerbaijan in the coming year. Speakers included Mr. Daniel Matthews Managing Partner, Baker & McKenzie, Baku; Dr. Nargiz Gurbanova, Economic Counselor, Embassy of Azerbaijan; and Mr. Brian Sant Angelo, Senior Business Development Officer - Azerbaijan, Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Dr. Gurbanova emphasized the importance of non-energy sectors in diversifying and improving the dynamic nature of the Azerbaijani economy, and pointed to increasing business opportunities in agriculture, ICT and tourism. For example, the agriculture and ICT sectors have an annual growth rate of 15% and 30%, respectively. Meanwhile, 2011 has been designated the Year of Tourism in Azerbaijan, and over 1 million tourists visit the country every year, a remarkable achievement in the region, she said.

At the same time, the energy sector remains of tremendous significance to Azerbaijan's economy, Mr. Matthews said, noting: "Oil and gas will fuel the economy. Oil will continue to be a major driver in the economy of Azerbaijan."

Mr. Matthews also said that the Integrated Petrochemical Complex in Garadagh would have a national and regional significance. With a price tag of $5-15 billion, the facility will create business opportunities for American companies in the areas of design and engineering, equipment and materials, construction and construction management, and technology. Furthermore, he added that well-known international hotels such as Hilton, Four Seasons, JW Marriot, Jumeirah, Fairmont, and Kempinski are under construction in Azerbaijan.

Mr. Sant Angelo, speaking of Ex-Im Bank's projects in Azerbaijan, highlighted the emerging sectors in Azerbaijan's economy. Having a limited portfolio of projects in the country (around $57 million), he reiterated Ex-Im Bank's readiness to assist American companies invest in Azerbaijan. "Our portfolio is going to explode in Azerbaijan," he said. He added that Ex-Im Bank has recently been restructured and is now focusing on sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture and small businesses, all of which are promising in Azerbaijan.

The seminar on Investment Opportunities in Azerbaijan was organized by the USACC and sponsored by Baker & McKenzie and Solar Turbines. The event was attended by U.S. private sector representatives and USACC member companies, as well as representatives of the U.S. and Azerbaijani governments.

To view event photos, click here.

The United States Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce:

"Bridge to Endless Resources"

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