Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will pay an official visit to Italy on February 20-21, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the President – head of the foreign policy department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan said. “Italy is one of the main partners of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev will visit Italy on February 20-21 to discuss issues of expanding cooperation,” Hajiyev said in an interview with Agenzia Nova.
He also noted the special role of Italy in the implementation of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) project, noting that without the support of the Italian government for many years, the TAP project would have been impossible.
In turn, the presidential aide for economic affairs, Shahmar Movsumov, said that an Azerbaijani-Italian business forum will be held on February 21 as part of President Aliyev’s visit to Italy.
According to him, according to the latest data, trade between Azerbaijan and Italy amounted to about $ 6 billion, of which $ 5.6 billion worth goods were exported from Azerbaijan, and $ 400 million worth goods were imported from Italy. The bulk of the structure of Azerbaijani exports was hydrocarbons.
Earlier, Energy Minister Perviz Shahbazov reported that in 2018-2019, SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) delivered 15.9 million tons of oil, 189 thousand tons of oil products and 43.7 thousand tons of petrochemicals to Italy.
113 Italian companies are registered in Azerbaijan. The volume of Italian investments in the Azerbaijani economy amounted to $ 770 million, and Azerbaijani investments in the Italian economy amounted to $ 1.7 billion (the investments of the Oil Fund, which acquires government bonds, are also taken into account here).
The total length of TAP is 878 km, of which 550 km pass through the northern part of Greece, 215 km – through the territory of Albania, 105 km – through the Adriatic Sea and 8 km – through Italy. The pipeline project has already been implemented at 92%. Azerbaijani gas deliveries by TAP are expected in the IV quarter of 2020.