On 25 February 2021, HCLA in close cooperation with our partners from Doshisha University Graduate School of Global Studies (Doshisha University) concluded another successful Webinar as the HCLA’s international program, ‘Think Global, Go Global’, on the topic and message of ‘Azerbaijan as an Emerging Eurasian Business Hub – An Overview of the Business Opportunities and Legal Challenges’.
We welcomed esteemed and honoured speakers and attendees, of whom consisted, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, renowned experts, officials, and academics to our session. The topics were aimed at highlighting the frugal potential behind Azerbaijan as a growing economy within the Eurasia region, focusing on strengthening its key trade routes and regional hegemony. This Webinar could not have been launched without support from not only our partners, Doshisha University, but also from our esteemed speakers from ADA University, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the Netherlands, the Alat Free Economic Zone (AFEZ), the Azerbaijan Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, the Azerbaijan Export, and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), and local partners including the Caucasus Consulting Group of Companies.
As such the opening remarks of the Webinar were given by Professor Hisae Nakanishi as the Dean of Doshisha University, who we welcome for the second bout of the Webinars series. Following up was His Excellency Ambassador Fikrat Akhundov, who also welcomed the esteemed speakers and honoured participants, and highlighted the importance of the growth potential behind Azerbaijan in the Eurasia region, both in the current time period, and in the future.
The first speaker to take the internet podium was Mr Valeh Alasgarov, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of AFEZ, who spoke about the investment opportunities in the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan, holding up the Alat Free Economic Zone as a prime example of such opportunity. He presented an explicit exposition of the benefits tied for potential investors seeking to invest into large scale projects, such as AFEZ, and the benefits that could be reaped for any that chose to do so, with a direct focus on non-oil and gas sector companies.
Following up was Professor Masanori Naito from Doshisha University, who presented a very specialised overview of Azerbaijan’s neighbouring countries’ foreign policies, and thus sought to tie Azerbaijan’s rise as an emerging economic power to astute foreign policy relations enjoyed currently by Azerbaijan.
To shift back the focus of the Webinar to Azerbaijan’s economic prowess, was Mr Fariz Ismayilzada, the Vice-Rector of ADA University, who sought to expound on the economic and political benefits of the transport corridor operating within and outside Azerbaijan, thereby linking crucial trade routes established hundreds of years ago, to growing investor appetites in contemporary times.
Following up was Mr Yusif Abdullayev as the Acting President of the Investment Promotion Department of Azerbaijan (AZPROMO), who spoke to us about the investment climate and business opportunities in Azerbaijan. Aware that the previous speakers had corollary topics, Mr Abdullayev nonetheless introduced fresh perspective to the hidden potential behind investing in Azerbaijan, and to this extent expounded upon existing projects as well as future projects which hold large investment potential for foreign investors.
Next up was Mr Shahin Ismayilov, as the Head of the International Division of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies, who spoke about the strategic role of Azerbaijan in inter-regional transport and transit relations, and to this extent, highlighted the fact that Azerbaijan’s growth as an economic power was simultaneously tied to its technological progress in connectivity and digitalization within the purview of the modern digital era.
Concluding was Ms Hoora Hashemi, who was presenting on behalf of the HCLA Network, and who presented an overview of the analytical report, prepared by HCLA, on Mediation and Arbitration Procedures in Azerbaijan, thereby highlighting the growing alternate dispute resolution mechanisms in Azerbaijan, as well as the prevalent national laws applicable to investors.
Upon conclusion of the final presentation, the floor was opened for a Q & A session for the benefit of the attendees who posed their questions during the respective presentations. In the end, the Webinar was concluded successfully, and we once more thank our honored and esteemed speakers in joining us and sharing their knowledge.