Euroasian Jewish News
Israel shows interest in imports from Azerbaijan
Israeli–Azerbaijani bilateral strategic and economic relations have been expanding since the very early 1990s. The strategic relationship included cooperation in trade and security matters, cultural and educational exchanges. Relations entered a new phase during the visit of then the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Baku in August 1997.
Touching upon security, Israel has been developing close ties with Azerbaijan in military sphere and helped a lot to modernize the Armed Forces. Israel plays role of an important ally in supplying Azerbaijani army with most modern weapons. Azerbaijan was among the top three countries in the list of Israeli arms importers in 2017.
Economic cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan also has been growing significantly. As Azerbaijan deregulated its industries and liberalized economy in early 1990s, Israeli companies penetrated Azerbaijani market. Many companies have invested in service industry.
Economic sphere, particularly in such non-oil sectors as agriculture, pharmaceuticals and IT have a great potential to develop. Agriculture in Israel is a highly developed industry, while the country is listed among world leaders in advanced agricultural technologies, regardless the fact that the geography of the country is not naturally favourable for agriculture.
Moreover, several regional tours were made by the Israeli envoy to Azerbaijan to deepen economic cooperation in the spheres of economy, agriculture and tourism in March 2017. After this Azerbaijan and Israel agreed to abolish double taxation between countries in April 2017.
Tourism is one of the areas where Azerbaijan and Israel successfully develop cooperation. The number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan from Israel is growing, and all tourists visiting Azerbaijan return home with the best impressions.
Israir Airlines & Tourism Ltd., an Israeli airline based at Sde Dov Airport (SDV) in Tel Aviv, is carrying out flights to Baku three times a week, as part of tourist packages. The direct flight is of great significance in terms of mutual increase in tourism turnover.
Nowadays, Israel is interested in importing certain products from Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Azerbaijan-Israel Chamber of Commerce Alex Kaplun said at an event dedicated to the activities of the Chamber.
He noted that work is underway to import Azerbaijani wines to Israel. Some wines are already imported and negotiations are underway to import Ganja and Absheron wines.
In addition, Israel wants to import hazelnuts and honey from Azerbaijan.
According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover with Israel amounted to $ 1.3 billion in 2018. Almost all trade turnover accounted for the export of Azerbaijani products to Israel. While the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Israel amounted to $ 671.6 million in 2017, about $32.7 million of this amount accounted for the import of Israeli products.
It is noteworthy that partnership between the two nations is based not only on political, economic and energy cooperation, but also on shared cultural values, due to a fact that a large Jewish community lives in Azerbaijan. Today’s friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are built on centuries of Jewish-Azerbaijani coexistence. Estimated 9,000 Jews in the country are "fully part" of Azerbaijani society.
In 2016, a branch of Baku International Multiculturalism Centre (BIMC) has been opened in Israel aimed at increasing the international community's awareness of Azerbaijan's and Israel's history and culture.
By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade