Energy polices, cooperation discussed at Caspian Forum
(From 2L to right) SOFAZ CEO Movsumov, Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Yazıcı, the Chairman of EWE Turkey Holding’s Board of Directors. Schoeber, Prof Alkin and Kvatchantiradze attend a session at the CaspianForum.The Caspian region’s place on the world’s energy map in light of recent developments in the region, as well as new and existing structures of the region and directions in foreign policy, were the issues discussed in the two-day Caspian Forum organized in Istanbul Dec. 4-5 by the Caspian Strategy Institute (HASEN).
The firs Caspian Froum was held in Istanbul last year, while the second one was held in New York in September.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, HASEN Secretary-General Haldun Yavaş expressed his views on how the world economy could develop further and the importance of the Caspian region to the World regarding economy. “If the countries in the region act together in the name of common interests, everybody will win,” Yavaş said. “This is one of the principles of good citizenship. This principle needs the adoption of a vision that foresees the cooperation of the regional countries for a clear purpose, economic and financial stability.”
Yavaş said the Caspian region countries will decide on their own fates. “We must all be aware that the Caspian region will have to follow its own path,” he said. “The World will not determine the future of the region. Let’s all choose progress, let’s choose cooperation for our own welfare.”
Other speakers on the first day of the Caspian Forum included Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı, SOFAZ CEO Shahmar Movsumov, the Chairman of EWE Turkey Holding’s Board of Directors Dr. Willem Schoeber, Istanbul Ticaret University Economics Department head Prof. Kerem Alkin and Zviad Kvatchantiradze, First Vice Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Parliament of Georgia. The critical importance of the Capian region’s energy reserves will be carried to the markets and the regeneration of the historic Silk Road were the issues discussed at the Caspian Forum Kvatchantiradze said Georgia is the shortest route between Western Europe and Central Asia and the geographic location gives the country major advantages.
“New energy projects are emerging in the region with the cooperation of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia,” he said. “The BTC has been successfully managed for more than 10 years and Georgia is ready to contribute in other alternative projects.”
Schoeber said his company closely watched Turkey’s growth and they want to be the part of a $10 billion investment in the country.
Prof. Alkin noted in his speech that 2.4 billion people, mostly from the eastern countries, will have been added to the “middle class” by 2025. “There will be major problems in the future if we cannot find a solution to the global environmental issues,” he said. What are the opportunities for economic cooperation the Caspian region? We must produce new areas of cooperation and work together for increasing values.”
Speaking on the second day of the forum, Romanian Transportation Minister Nicu Buica expressed the importance of cooperation to link Europe to Asia.
“The main target of the Romanian government and Romanian transportation ministry is to improve the cooperation between the countries,” he said. “The Caspian region’s potential in energy resources should be used more.”
SOFAZ to invest more in Turkey
SOFAZ CEO Shahmar Movsumov said his country’s national oil strategy consisted of three steps. “At the beginning of the 1990s, we did not have the technology or the financial means. The first brave step here was the invitation of international companies. The second step was the use of multiple energy transportation corridors. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [BTC] pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars line were opened. Azerbaijan started to export its oil to international markets through the BTC,” he said. “The third step was the decision to establish the State Oil Fund. Our assets then grew by $35 billion in a short period of time,” he added. The projects financed by SOFAZ were not limited to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), he said, but the best investment to be made was in the education of the Azerbaijani youth. On Turkey-SOFAZ relations, Movmusov noted that they had invested a total of $2 billion in the STAR refinery and banks in Turkey, and they aimed to increase this number.