IsDB President and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Explore Ways to Deepen Cooperation

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 26 May 2021 – President of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr. Bandar Hajjar, has held talks with Minister of Economy and IsDB Governor for the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mikayil Jabbarov.

During the meeting with took place virtually on 26 May 2021, the Minister commended the enduring relations between IsDB and Azerbaijan and the support the Bank has provided in various sectors to his country through the IsDB Group Regional Hub Turkey.

Dr. Hajjar, while welcoming the Minister and his delegation, expressed his profound appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the fruitful engagement and support accorded to the entire IsDB Group.

He then enumerated the numerous impactful projects the Islamic Development Bank Group undertook in the country in the areas of energy, agriculture, transport, and urban development among others. “I am pleased that the cooperation between the IsDB Group and Azerbaijan has been growing satisfactorily. Since its inception, overall IsDB Group approvals have exceeded US$ 1,179 billion, comprising US$ 956 million by IsDB, US$ 83 million of trade financing by International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), US$ 120.4 million of financing by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and US$ 19.4 million by other funds’’, stated Dr. Hajjar.

“At the moment, IsDB Group's active portfolio in Azerbaijan stands at US$ 318 million and affirmed to continue strengthening cooperation with Azerbaijan on bilateral and regional initiatives,” he continued.

The Minister, for his part, elaborated the commitment by his government to accelerate the investment environment in the private sector to encourage more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to create more jobs and further revive the economy. In that regard, the government intends to arrange a private sector forum to help to attract more potential investors into the country. A technical working group from both sides shall be established to discuss more on diversifying Azerbaijan’s economy as well as the type of cooperation and the way forward.

The delegation led by the Minister, meanwhile, briefed the participants at the meeting on the status of the recently restored territories and requested support in the reconstruction of the areas including the key flagship ‘Smart Villages Development’ program.

The IsDB President assured the delegation that the proposal will be considered upon completion of formal procedures of feasibility studies and technical assessment.

The discussion also featured the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the economic activities in Azerbaijan, and in response, Dr. Hajjar stated that the IsDB Group is committed to support Azerbaijan through the Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP) which is the flagship IsDB Group-wide program to assist member countries to confront the impacts of the global pandemic.

At the conclusion of the meeting, H.E, Mikayil Jabbarov extended an official invitation to the President of Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, to pay an official visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan, a country located in Caucuses, with neighboring border countries of Gregoria, Iran, Russia, Turkey and Armenia, is considered to be an upper middle-income country, that officially joined the Islamic Development Bank on 4th July 1992.