Panel Discussion 22/04/2014
Delegation of SAM Azerbaijan Visits IPRI
A three-member delegation of Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of Republic of Azerbaijan (SAM), Azerbaijan, visited IPRI on March 5, 2014.
SAM scholars expressed their goodwill for Pakistan. They said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan enjoy close and cordial relations. Azerbaijan greatly admires Pakistan’s principled position on Nagorno-Karabakh issue, and on its part, Pakistan’s position on Kashmir issue. They said that cooperation between the two countries in the field of economy and defence was mutually beneficial and was expected to grow further in the future. The volume of trade was currently US $ 15 million but the potential of trade was much more. Azeri companies are also benefiting from the investor friendly climate in Pakistan and an Azeri company was preparing to invest in the energy sector in Pakistan. A sizeable Pakistani community including skilled and unskilled workers was taking part in several development projects in Azerbaijan. The Pakistanis living in Azerbaijan were an important link between the two countries. Direct flights between the two countries, likely to be started soon, would further help in enhancing people to people contacts. Several Pakistani students were also studying in Azerbaijan in professional institutions.
President IPRI said that Azerbaijan was a trusted friend of Pakistan. He appreciated the support extended by Azerbaijan in the aftermath of earthquake in 2005. The two governments have signed MOUs in a number of fields. However, it was imperative for the think tanks of the two countries to provide inputs to policy makers and identify areas where cooperation can be further intensified.