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Friday, September 30, 2005

President: Every Citizen Will Benefit from Oil Revenues

Baku Today / Assa Irada 01/10/2005 11:15 - President Ilham Aliyev has said that all Azerbaijanis citizens should benefit from the country's oil revenues. "Rapid economic development is observed in Azerbaijan in recent years. Major oil revenues will start to flow to the country in the near future. We want every citizen to be aware of the oil revenues and benefit from them", Aliyev said addressing the Azeri-Finnish business forum in Baku on Friday. The President noted that Azerbaijan has joined nearly all projects implemented in the region. He called on Finnish representatives to be active in this respect and invited them to contribute to the production of various industrial goods as part of infrastructure projects. With regard to the business climate, Aliyev assured Finnish representatives that Azerbaijan respects all investors. He cited the economic achievements of Finland, with a population close to that of Azerbaijan, saying that his country should learn from them. Finnish President Tarja Halonen addressing the event said that Finns aspire to establish business in Azerbaijan. Investors starting their activity should enjoy suitable conditions, which can be ensured by relevant agreements between the two countries, she said.

Azerbaijan warns opposition against 'provocations'

BAKU, Sept 29 (AFP) - Authorities in the oil-rich former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan warned opposition groups Thursday against destabilizing "provocations" ahead of parliamentary elections and signalled they were ready to use force if needed to keep anti-government protests in check.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

German Companies Seek Partners in Azerbaijan

Baku Today / Assa Irada 27/09/2005 14:35 - A forum of businessmen of Azerbaijan and Baden Wurttemberg province of Germany started in Baku on Monday. Karsten Wifhausen, head of the economics department of the German embassy in Baku, said the event is aimed at further strengthening economic cooperation between businessmen. Deputy Minister for economic development Mikayil Jabbarov said Azerbaijan is one of the leading countries for economic growth rate. Jabbarov said the growth in the country made up 20% in January-August 2005 and will reach 30% in 2006. Similar forums will be organized in the future, he said. Horst Mehrlender, deputy minister for economics of Baden-Wurttemberg province, said the German delegation includes representatives of 14 enterprises operating in the fields of aluminum covers, chemical mechanical engineering, construction materials, devices and medical equipment. "German companies such as Bosch Rexroth, Fischer Motor Company, ProTech Professional Technical Services, and Hitech Trade are interested in finding partners in Azerbaijan," Mehrlender said. The deputy minister said that Azerbaijan has imported goods worth 36 million euros from Baden-Wurttemberg, with machines and devices amounting to 84% of the exported goods. A third of the gross domestic product in the German province is made up by foreign trade, he said. On Tuesday, German businessmen will get familiar with activity of several enterprises, prior to leaving the country for Kazakhstan. The German representatives' visit is paid on the initiative of the Exports and Investments Promotion Foundation, entrepreneurial development department of the ministry of economic development, the ministry of economics of Baden-Wurttemberg and the Germany-Azerbaijan Union of Economic Assistance.

11 Years since Signing of "Contract of the Century"

Baku Today /Assa Irada 21/09/2005 18:39 - The 11th anniversary of the "Contract of the Century" was marked in Azerbaijan on Tuesday. In 1994, Azerbaijan gained its ‘economic independence', as official Baku signed the first-ever document on joint development of oil fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Talks on the development of Caspian oil fields started in the 1980s when the existing Soviet technologies did not allow extracting oil at a water depth of over 100 meters. Considering this, former Soviet Union's ministry of oil industry issued instructions on operation of the Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli fields in the Caspian Sea jointly with foreign oil companies. The talks on the issue were suspended in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed but resumed after Azerbaijan got independence. Moreover, the alternatives of taking Azerbaijan's oil to the world markets were discussed. The contract on joint development of the Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli fields was signed on September 20, 1994, despite the unstable political environment in the country and its being in a state of war. Azerbaijan's nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev contributed greatly to the signing of the document. Despite challenges, he managed to convince the West that the terms of the contract would be implemented. The future processes proved that this was not just a promise. Later, the late Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev signed a decree on celebrating September 20 as the day of oilworkers every year.

West Azeri Topsides Installed Offshore

Baku Today / AssA-Irada 25/09/2005 19:21 - The topsides of the West Azeri (WA) Production, Drilling and Quarters Platform, which successfully sailed away on Wednesday, were safely installed offshore onto the jacket on Thursday. This follows the load-out of the 15,850-ton topsides onto the transportation barge STB-1 from the Baku Deepwater Topsides Factory (BDJF) yard on September 15, the Azerbaijan International Operating Company told AssA-Irada. The WA platform is located at a 120-meter water depth on the west side of major Azeri Field. First oil from WA is to be produced in January 2006 following completion of topsides offshore hook-up and commissioning work. This will increase the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) offshore facilities oil production capacity by 340,000 barrels per day. The parties to the ACG Production Sharing Agreement are: BP (operator - 34.1%), Unocal (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10%), Statoil (8.6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), and Amerada Hess (2.7%).

US Ambassador Calls on City Mayors to Observe Presidential Decree on Elections

AssA-Irada 25/09/2005 19:46 - US ambassador to Azerbaijan Reno Harnish, assessing the situation on the eve of the November parliament elections in Azerbaijan, called on district mayors to abide by the existing presidential decree on improving election practices. "The mayor's office of Baku or the forces planning to hold rallies should negotiate and eliminate their divergence of views on holding protests on their own. The executive power should ensure conditions for rallies", Harnish told journalists on Friday.

Azerbaijan Braces for More Violence as Talks Break Down

BRIEFLY BAKU, Sept 28 2005 (AFP) - Amid official calls for a crackdown on the opposition in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan prior to November 6 parliamentary elections, fresh violence seemed imminent after talks between the authorities and opposition activists over planned demonstrations broke down, analysts said.

Azerbaijan mulls feeding oil into the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline

 SOFIA, Sept 23 (AFP) - Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday that he and Bulgarian President Georgy Parvanov had discussed the possibility of feeding Caspian crude oil into the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project that is to link the Black and the Aegean sea.

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