Azerbaijan, whose capital city is Baku, was formerly a member of the Soviet Bloc. Today, the country straddles both Asia and Europe occupying an area of 86,600 square kilometers. It has a population of around 10 million people. The currency of Azerbaijan is the ‘’Manat.’’ In 2018, the exports of Azerbaijan were 11.2 % of its GDP amounting to US$ 179.7 billion. Additionally, the value of the exports-related services in the country was US$ 4.7 billion. Azerbaijan’s exports are primarily concentrated in the energy sector with major products including crude petroleum (82.3%), petroleum gas (9.1%), and refined petroleum. A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2019 states that the country’s unemployment rate of Azerbaijan is 5.2%. However, independent experts who have cross-checked official state economic platforms reckon that the rate of unemployment may have been as high as 21% in 2018. In 2017, Azerbaijan exported goods worth US$ 14.3 billion making it the 77th largest exporter globally.
Biggest Export Partners Of Azerbaijan
The largest proportion of goods exported from Azerbaijan end up in Italy. As of 2018, the GDP of Italy was US$ 2.08 trillion in 2018. Some of the goods and services constituting the GDP of the country are attributable to the trade between Italy and Azerbaijan. According to the international trade database of the United Nations known as COMTRADE, the value of exports from Azerbaijan to Italy in 2018 was US$ 5.88 billion. This value was almost 20% of Azerbaijan’s foreign trade earnings. Azerbaijan is also the largest importer of goods from Italy, as well as the South Caucasus region. The country’s primary export to Italy is crude oil with an oil company called ‘’Eni’’ ranked as a major player in the oil and gas industry in Azerbaijan since 1995. Substantive amounts of oil have been received by Italy from Azerbaijan through the Baku-Supsa/Baku-Jeyhan pipelines for many years.
Statistics indicate that Turkey is the 2nd highest importer of goods from Azerbaijan resulting in 13.6% of the country’s exports. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan are Turkic countries that are often described as ‘’one nation with two states.’’ They share an 11-kilometer border and are separated by the Aras River. Turkey and Azerbaijan have had great political and economic relations. In fact, Turkey was the first country to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991. Turkey has to import all its energy to meet the needs of its citizens in the form of oil and gas. Thus, the close economic ties between Azerbaijan and Turkey have made it easier to access these sources of energy. Both countries were involved in the setting up of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, TANAP, the Southern Gas Corridor, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Statistics from COMTRADE indicate that in 2018 the exports from Azerbaijan to Turkey were worth US$ 1.83 billion.
The percentage of exports from Azerbaijan to Israel is 6.1% making the country Azerbaijan’s 3rd largest export partner. Trade between Israel and Azerbaijan has been steadily growing since the early 1990s with Israel playing a central role in the modernization of the Azerbaijani military, as well as agricultural technology. Cordial ties between these two countries are largely based upon the fact that there exists a sizeable population of the Jewish community in Azerbaijan.
The majority of the Israeli companies operating from Azerbaijan have invested heavily in the service industry. Israel exports from Azerbaijan include mineral fuels, oils, oilseed, distillation products, grain, organic chemicals, oleagic fruits, seed, and fruits. Israel has also recently shown interest in importing wines, hazelnuts, and honey from the country. Statistics from the Azerbaijan State Customs Committee show that exports from Azerbaijan to Israel in 2018 was valued at US$ 1.3 billion.
Russia is the leading export partner of Azerbaijan with regards to non-oil products, as well as the 4th largest export partner of Azerbaijan. Trade between Russia and Azerbaijan accounts for 50% of all trade between Russia and all the countries of the South Caucasus region. The non-oil products exported to Russia are mostly edible fruits, nuts, citrus fruit peels, melons, edible vegetables, and certain roots and tubers. On the other hand, imports from Russia to Azerbaijan in 2018 were food products, agricultural raw materials, machinery, equipment and vehicles, metals, as well as wood and pulp-paper products. According to Azerbaijan’s State Statistics Committee, the value of trade between these two countries stood at US$ 2.55 billion in 2018.
The GDP of Germany is EUR 3.4 billion. Subsequently, the country is among the world’s leading top five economies. The leading products exported from Azerbaijan to Germany are oil and oil products with 2.2 million tons of crude oil having been sold to Germany in 2018. Presently, German companies and entities have invested approximately US$ 570 million in Azerbaijan’s economy. A large amount of this investment targets to the non-oil sector. Plans are also underway to export hazelnuts, pomegranates, juices, wine, canned, and chemical products to Germany. COMTRADE estimates that in 2018, the goods exported by Azerbaijan to Germany were valued at US$ 780.85 million. Overall, Germany is responsible for 5% of the total exports in Azerbaijan.
6. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic annually imports from Azerbaijan oil worth approximately US$ 1.5 billion. The Czech Republic ranks as the 9th largest investor in the country. According to COMTRADE export earnings by Azerbaijan from trade with the Czech Republic amounted to US$ 938.38 million in 2018. The leading export products were mineral fuels, oils, distillation, textile, iron, and steel. Other exports to the Czech Republic include nuts, fruits, copper, nuclear reactors, boilers, textiles, and electronic equipment. Exports from Azerbaijan to the Czech Republic amount to 4.6% of the country’s exports.
Georgia imports 4.3% of Azerbaijan’s total exports making it the country’s 6th largest export partner. The major products exported from Azerbaijan to Georgia include gypsum binders, natural gas, cement, electricity, oil, and oil products. Georgia considers Azerbaijan its 2nd major export partner with the total trade turnover between these two countries amounting to US$ 754.9 million as of January 2019. The goods which Georgia exports to Azerbaijan are cement, locomotives, minerals, chemical fertilizer, strong drinks, glass, and pharmaceuticals.