Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan mutual trade potential is underutilized, experts say

Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan mutual trade potential is underutilized, experts say

The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan tripled in the first quarter of 2022, reaching US$100 million over three months. Kazakhstan mainly exports wheat, oil, petrochemicals and locomotives to Azerbaijan through the Caspian Sea, and imports ships, ferries, various polymers and pipes made of ferrous metals.

“I think that the economic blocks of our national governments should be given a clear goal to bring the volume of trade turnover between our two countries at least to over one billion dollars in the medium term. The data we have at present does not show the full potential of the existing capacity. However, this requires joint direct investments with a focus on high-tech segments,” said an economist Elshad Mamedov.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, both of which are the gates to Asia and Europe, are still far from fully using port capacities of the Caspian Sea. Only one fourth of the port is busy. In the current conditions, when investors are looking for alternative routes, the issue gains ground.

“The capacities of Azerbaijan’s pipeline system include ‘Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan’ and ‘Baku-Supsa’ pipelines. In fact, right now they are operating at half capacity. That is, we have groundwork to plug this infrastructure gap. But our problem is that there is no pipeline between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan under the Caspian Sea and, accordingly, we have to and we will have to transport oil in limited quantities by tankers. I think that the issue of building tankers will be given special attention at the leaders’ meeting,” noted political analyst Farkhad Mamedov.

Today, President of Kazakhstan will pay an official visit to Azerbaijan. The leaders will hold meetings in a narrow and expanded format, as well as discuss issues on the development of a strategic partnership. The parties intend to sign about 20 agreements.