Today, the European Union and Azerbaijan jointly inaugurated a high-level working group on the EU’s Economic Investment Plan. The new coordination body will steer and identify priority investments to be delivered with the support of the EU together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as well as the EU Member States’ development finance institutions in the spirit of Team Europe. This will help maximise the potential of Azerbaijan's Economic and Investment Plan, with the objective of mobilising up to EUR 2 billion worth of investments in the country using innovative financial instruments such as blending and guarantee. Such priority investments will contribute to the government’s efforts to diversify the Azerbaijani economy further, create decent jobs across the country and promote inclusive rural development.
The Economic and Investment Plan is the investment pillar of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy, complemented by a governance pillar to strengthen democratic institutions. The two pillars work in conjunction to deliver tangible benefits to people by creating a stable business environment and bringing economic investments. The Economic and Investment Plan also supports the EU’s Global Gateway strategy in building sustainable and trusted digital, energy and transport connections around the world.
The European Commission’s Director for Neighbourhood East and Institution Building, Lawrence Meredith, said: “The launch of the high-level working group on the Economic and Investment Plan is another clear sign of our close partnership with Azerbaijan. The Economic and Investment Plan is already delivering tangible benefits for the people of Azerbaijan with almost EUR 90 million being committed and a significant pipeline of investment projects being built. This includes investments towards upgrading street lighting in Ganja and supporting access to finance for small businesses across the country. With the launch of our joint working group, we can ensure that Azerbaijan and its people will benefit even more from the investment potential provided by the Economic Investment Plan!”
The high-level working group will regularly bring together senior representatives of the European Commission, the government of Azerbaijan and European international financial institutions to identify and jointly mature priority investment projects. It will explore investments in renewable energy, connectivity, SMEs, green and digital transitions.
The EU remains the key reform partner in Azerbaijan.
In July 2021, the European Commission put forward an ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership. Over the next years, this plan will mobilise €2.3 billion from the EU budget in grants, blending and guarantees, with a potential to leverage up to €17.3 billion in public and private investments across the region. This will stimulate jobs and growth, support connectivity and the green and digital transitions.
The Economic and Investment Plan builds on the long-standing cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan and extends this cooperation further to the area of investments, including through the close involvement of the EIB and the EBRD as well as the EU Member States’ development finance institutions in the spirit of Team Europe. The European Union has long supported reforms, economic development and diversification in Azerbaijan. It has done so by providing assistance, including through civil society, in a wide range of areas, such as demining, education, judicial reform and energy efficiency.
(c) 2022, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan