The speech of the Republic of Azerbaijan , Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with the Turkish businessmen - February 10, 1994

Dear friends!

We have come here to meet the distinguished businessmen of Turkey. Participation of the famous Turkish businessmen in this meeting is an indicator of their interests in Azerbaijan. As you know, it is already three days that the official representatives of Azerbaijan, as well as I, are in Turkey. We have come to Turkey on the invitation of Suleyman Demirel, distinguished leader of Turkey. Within these 3 days we held negotiations on the further development of the fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey. And finally, yesterday we signed several contracts and statements. All of these show the highest level of cooperation between the two countries and open a new page in our relations.

I would like to express my gratitude to our Turkish brothers, as well as to the official state leaders, ordinary people for their care and deep respect towards the representatives of Azerbaijan, personally towards me. Thank you for coming here today.

The negotiations, as well as the contracts signed as a result of these negotiations are directed towards broadening the economic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan. These documents intend economic relations in terms of cooperation in all spheres. We would like our cooperation to cover all fields and make closer the economy of Turkey and Azerbaijan. Because it is of great importance for Azerbaijan both from economic and historical standpoints. These ties cover not only trade relations but also mutual relations between the Turkish and Azerbaijani enterprises.

Today, I would like to talk about this matter and hear your proposals. But generally, I want to express my opinion in some words. I consume that we can understand each other. I would like to mention that the economic relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey dates back 3-4 years. The Turkish businessmen and companies interested in Azerbaijan even before Azerbaijan gained its independence. Several relations were established as a result of it. But these relations could not reach high level. To speak openly, these relations covered only trade. It is true that these relations arranged a great part of the economic relations. But the establishment of the joint enterprises was not on a good level. Although, these relations should be multi-branched.

We have offered all necessary facilities for developing the economic relations and will continue it in future. Because Azerbaijan`s aim is to establish and develop its economy on the basis of free economic principles. Besides, we would like the Turkish businessmen and companies with great technological potential to cooperate with the businessmen and companies of Azerbaijan in the industrial, agricultural and social spheres. Thus, I challenge you to use these opportunities.

The majority of the contracts signed with the president and other high officials of Turkey concern economic relations. We consider that we must establish economic relations with the Turkish companies having great economic and technical potential. We invite these companies to Azerbaijan and are ready to create all condition for their activity in our country.

Sometimes, several companies reject to operate in Azerbaijan and connecting it with the situation of war, lack of of stability, and absence of independence in Azerbaijan. That`s why some companies are afraid of investing capital and establishing joint enterprises in Azerbaijan.
I want to underline that such thoughts are groundless. Azerbaijan has great economic and scientific potentials. We have skilled, experienced engineers and industrialists. That`s why you can start your business in Azerbaijan without any deviation. As regards the situation of war in Azerbaijan, you should know that war can`t go for ever; Azerbaijan will ensure its independence and territorial integrity. Azerbaijan possesses great resources and will possess hereafter. In a word, you do not need to be afraid of it.

As regards, to the socio-political stability in Azerbaijan, you can be sure that all of them are petty problems. Altogether, the internal socio-political situation in Azerbaijan is stable and will strengthen in future. In a word, the Turkish businessmen should not miss such opportunity and they have to lay down the foundations of their business in such a rich country as Azerbaijan. I invite you to Azerbaijan. First of all, I would like once more to repeat that you are businessmen and eager to reap the fruit of your labor. You can be sure that there are great opportunities for investing capital and getting its good results in Azerbaijan. I wish you success on this way and consider that our cooperation will be efficient.

I express my gratitude to you for gathering here. I hope we`ll come back to our talks on business and discuss several concrete issues in the shortest time.

Thanks! Thanks for your attention

Translated from "Azerbaijan" newspaper, 1994: National statehood on trail, Baki-2002, p. 103-104