Energy is one of the most attractive topics on the agenda of the Romania-Azerbaijan relationship, and energy cooperation is an issue that always comes up during the conversations for consolidating the relation held between the heads of state of the two countries on official visits, Romania’s ambassador in Baku Nicolae Ureche told Azeri news agency APA in an interview, adding that the good relations between the two countries have a strong legal basis made up of 50 agreements in various fields.
Trade between Romania and Azerbaijan January – November 2008 stood at $192.2 million, compared with just 9 million in 2004.
Ureche says that Romania is equally interested in expanding cooperation in the area of ship transportation, as freight traffic toward Central Europe via Central Asia, the Caucasus and via the Black Sea could turn the Romanian port of Constanta in the main gateway for the supply of goods to Europe.
Romania is also interested in striking a balance in the export of goods between the two countries, as exports coming from Azerbaijan to Romania have exceeded the ones originated in Romania, with $161 million worth of Azeri exports and only $31.83 million Azeri imports from Romania.
The ambassador also told APA that, given the rising exports of oil products from Azerbaijan, Romania wants to rectify the trade balance by increasing its exports to Azerbaijan. He voiced hope that the 4th meeting of the Azeri-Romanian intergovernmental commission, scheduled for this year in Baku, will allow for a boost to the pace of economic cooperation. Business officials of Romanian companies are expected to visit Baku in the second half of the year and Azeri business executives will be in Romania to inquire into the investment opportunities here.
Romania, as a trustful partner of Azerbaijan, is also a strong supporter of Azerbaijan being included in the EU’s Eastern Partnership.
Romania took over the NATO embassy point of contact mandate on January 1, 2009 for one year. In this capacity, one of the main action guiltiness will be to get Azeri people familiar with NATO objectives and duties, an activity Ureche believes Romania can successfully carry out because it has the required experience and qualities.