Azerbaijan, Switzerland have potential to boost trade turnover – ambassador
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Switzerland doesn't reflect the whole potential of the two countries and it is possible to increase it, Azerbaijan's ambassador to Switzerland Akram Zeynalli said in an interview with the Swiss Russian-language publication Nasha Gazeta.
He noted that there are intensive trade and economic relations between Azerbaijan and Switzerland.
The ambassador said that the trade turnover between the two countries neared 379 million Swiss francs in 2015 and 212 million francs of this amount accounted for the export from Azerbaijan, according to the Swiss Federal Customs Administration.
"Although it the highest figure among the South Caucasus countries and one of the highest figures among CIS countries, it doesn't reflect the whole potential of our countries," said Zeynalli.
The diplomat said that currently, 65 Swiss companies, including Novartis, Holcim, Stadler Rail, ABB and others successfully operate in Azerbaijan.
"I would like to emphasize the operation of the bilateral intergovernmental trade and economic commission which meets every two years, views the current status of economic relations and works out proposals for improving them," he said. "The latest meetings of the commission were held in Bern in May 2014 and in Baku in March 2016."
In order to encourage the visits, business and other contacts, Azerbaijan and Switzerland held and have already completed the talks on visa facilitation for the citizens of both countries and the agreements are ready for signing.
"I hope that it will happen soon. But I would like to clarify that it is not about the complete cancellation of visas, but simplifying the visa issuance for the persons of certain categories, as well as the abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports," the ambassador added.