President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received in a video format Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Kunio Mikuriya.
Hailing the fruitful cooperation between Azerbaijan and the World Customs Organization and the organization's support for the country, President Ilham Aliyev recalled with pleasure previous meetings and discussions he held with Kunio Mikuriya. The head of state hailed the fact that the cooperation with Azerbaijan has always been in the focus of attention of the World Customs Organization’s Secretary-General, pointing out that the organization's valuable recommendations and advice contributed to the development of this sector in the country.
Secretary-General Kunio Mikuriya expressed satisfaction with his visit to Baku ahead of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the customs service in Azerbaijan and congratulated President Ilham Aliyev on the growing role of the country in the region and across the world.
Emphasizing that his organization will continue to support customs reforms in Azerbaijan, he noted that Azerbaijan had become a center of regional development and transport hub. Kunio Mikuriya said that the stability in the South Caucasus region had created favorable opportunities for the development of regional cooperation, people-to-people contacts and transport links.
President Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan had become a transport and logistics center in the region thanks to the country's favorable geographical position, investments in infrastructure, and relations with neighboring countries, adding that regional ties create a favorable environment for cooperation. Pointing to the issues of regional cooperation, the head of state said that despite the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in trade with key partner countries for Azerbaijan last year was an indicator of the country's economic recovery and development.
The President of Azerbaijan described last year’s growth of the economy by more than 5 percent, the non-oil sector by 7 percent and the non-oil industry by 20 percent as a result of reforms. President Ilham Aliyev hailed new opportunities for cooperation in the region after the end of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The sides exchanged views on prospects for developing cooperation between Azerbaijan and the World Customs Organization.