ANKARA – Reuters
Azerbaijan’s Ambasssdor to Ankara Faig Bagirov is seen in this file photo. Hürriyet photo
Azerbaijani banks are following Turkey’s market with great interest, Faig Bagirov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Turkey, told Reuters yesterday.
He said currently there was a great deal of interest in the Turkish market and soon that would turn into practical activities.
“Our international bank, the Beynelhalk Bank, also has a lot of interest [in the Turkish market]. It has branches in important cities and countries. Azerbaijan
is considering opening Beynelhalk branches in Istanbul,” he said, adding that investment opportunities would widen as Istanbul transforms in to a world financial center.
Azerbaijani firms are especially looking to the tourism and hotel industries, Bagirov said, adding that Azerbaijani firms could use their energy exploration know-how in Turkey.
He said he expected an agreement regarding the Transanatolian Pipeline (Tanap), the Azeri-Turkish route, to be signed in June and that it would increase the capacity of the pipeline and other countries, particularly Ukraine, to join the project as a priority, he said.
He did not believe that Tanap would kill other pipeline projects such as Nabucco. “It would be wrong to say Nabucco is dead. The name may change, and the project could become a reality under another name,” he said.
Azerbaijan has not lifted the visa requirement for Turkish citizens despite close political and economic relations between the two countries. Bagirov said this was due to technical problems, definitely not political ones. “Azerbaijan’s infrastructure is not ready [to lift the visa requirement for Turks] yet. The requirement may be lifted this year when the infrastructure is ready,” he said.