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Moscow Gears Up to Host 12th Russia-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum

By Vusala Abbasova November 26, 2023

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The forum, now in its 12th year, has become a vital platform for fostering interregional collaboration.

The 12th Russia-Azerbaijan interregional forum will be held in Moscow next month, bringing together government officials and business leaders from both countries.

Organized by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy and Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, the event scheduled for December 8, aims to bolster ties and explore new opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, trade, tourism, construction, finance, consulting, and healthcare.

The forum, now in its 12th year, has become a vital platform for fostering interregional collaboration. The plenary session will feature discussions on industry, tourism, agriculture, healthcare, and humanitarian efforts. Additionally, B2B meetings will facilitate direct interactions between Azerbaijani and Russian business communities.

The inaugural Russia-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum launched in 2009 on the initiative of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev. Since then, the event has played a crucial role in establishing new interregional connections and discussing joint projects.

This year marks the 31st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. The strategic cooperation has seen significant developments, with the signing of the Declaration on Allied Interaction last year.

According to the declaration, Baku and Moscow “intend to deepen mutually beneficial trade and economic, investment, scientific and technical cooperation, raise production and scientific cooperation and direct ties between economic entities of all forms of ownership to a qualitatively new level.” The document also addresses the military-technical cooperation between the sides.

More than 150 international treaties provide the legal framework for cooperation between the two countries, demonstrating the scope and depth of bilateral cooperation.

Currently, Russia is among Azerbaijan's primary foreign economic partners. Over 900 joint ventures with Russian participation operate in Azerbaijan and approximately 300 of them have 100% Russian capital. This collaboration spans energy, machine-building, industry, transport, and various other sectors.

Bilateral trade has experienced substantial growth, reaching $4 billion in 2022, marking a 24 percent increase from the previous year. In 2023, the positive trend continues, with the first half witnessing a 37.7 percent increase compared to 2022. Azerbaijan's exports to Russia during this period amounted to $621.135 million, while imports reached $1.543 billion.

More than 70 regions of Russia are actively engaged in cooperation with Azerbaijan. Key contributors to interregional trade include Moscow, Krasnodar, and Stavropol territories, as well as the Moscow and Sverdlovsk regions. The Republic of Tatarstan, Volgograd, Saratov regions, and the city of St. Petersburg also rank among the top trading partners.

Education and cultural ties continue to strengthen, with 340 Russian-language schools in Azerbaijan and over 11,000 Azerbaijani students pursuing studies in Russia. Institutes such as Moscow State University and Sechenov Medical University have established branches in Baku, while MGIMO University, the Higher School of Economics, and Moscow State University of Humanities and Economics offer double-degree programs in collaboration with Azerbaijani universities.