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15.08.2011 15:51

Ambassador: India to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan in tourism, agriculture, and law

"India intends to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan in the areas of tourism and agriculture, and to strengthen the legal base", the Indian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Debnad Show said in an interview with Trend on the eve of the national Independence Day.

There are certain changes in bilateral relations - particularly in the political, economic, and humanitarian spheres, Show said.

"Political cooperation between our two countries is at a very good level. There is mutual understanding between the governments and peoples of both countries. These relations will be brought together more in the near future", the diplomat said.

Show said that ministerial consultations are planned to be held at the level of deputy foreign ministers to discuss the prospects for political cooperation in Baku in the nearest future.

India intends to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan in the agrarian sector. A delegation has recently visited Azerbaijan and discussed the possibility of expanding cooperation in this sphere with the Azerbaijani side, Show said.

The economic indices for the current year have shown that there is some progress in the area, Show said.

The diplomat said that the existing inter-governmental trade-economic, scientific-technical committee also contributes to the development of bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and India.

The second meeting is planned to be held in Baku in the near future.

"At present we plan to organize Indian businessmens visits to Azerbaijan", the diplomat said. "They will be part of the governmental delegation".

The Azerbaijani Confederation of Entrepreneurs also intends to organize a visit of Azerbaijani businessmen to India and to become acquainted with the countrys business opportunities, the diplomat added.

Show said that work is underway to strengthen the legal base between the two countries. Draft agreements are being agreed upon to promote and protect mutual investments, and to abolish double taxation.

Signing these agreements will increase business people's interests in cooperation, the diplomat said.

Show said that progress has recently been achieved in humanitarian cooperation, and that the Indian art and culture representatives' visits to Azerbaijan were being organized.

At present, a draft agreement on cooperation is being discussed between the Ministries of Culture in both countries, the diplomat said.

The Azerbaijan University of Languages opened an Indian language faculty in late October, with a teaching position given to a professor from India. The number of students at this faculty is expected to increase this year.

One of the priority areas of cooperation between the two countries is tourism, the diplomat said.

The diplomat said that representatives of the Indian tourism agency have been participating in tourism exhibitions in Azerbaijan for two years. They provide opportunities for tourism throughout the country.

"India intends to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan", the diplomat said. "We think it important to open direct flights between the two countries. The draft agreement on direct air communication will soon be completed. Its signing will greatly assist the development of tourism cooperation."

The diplomat said that at present, India has also simplified the rules for issuing visas to Azerbaijani tourists for their involvement in the country.

"More than 1,000 Azerbaijani tourists visit India annually," the diplomat said. "The Azerbaijani Embassy in India issues the same number of visas. I am sure that the flow of tourists will increase even more in the future."

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