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Russia's economics minister on visit to Azerbaijan
Russia's economics minister will discuss Friday in Azerbaijan stepping up bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the ministry's press-service said. Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref is set to meet with President Ilkham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Heidar Babaev, a spokesman said. Trade between Russia and Azerbaijan grew 44%, year-on-year, in 2005, exceeding $1 billion. Gref earlier highlighted the growing interest of Russian business in Azerbaijan. "A total of 395 firms and organization with Russian capital are registered in Azerbaijan, of which 95 are 100% Russian owned, 176 are joint ventures, and 124 are representations and offices," he said. Gref and Babaev will sign a protocol on cooperation between the two ministries, the spokesman said. Russia and Azerbaijan are members of the 11-nation Black Sea Economic Cooperation alliance, which also includes Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.
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