Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the official reception given by the Japanese company \"Nichimen\" - Tokyo residence of the President of Azerbaijan, February 27, 1998

Mr. President, dear friends,

Thank you for your hospitality, for this friendly business meeting.

You know that yesterday we held final talks and meetings with Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Hashimoto and other members of the government. We signed very important interstate and intergovernmental documents. These documents open a new phase in the relations between Japan and Azerbaijan and provide a good basis for a comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Among the documents signed yesterday at the residence of the Prime Minister and in the presence of government delegations of Azerbaijan and Japan, we also signed an agreement between the government of Azerbaijan and \"Eximbank\" of Japan. This is an agreement on the allocation of loan for the construction an ethylene factory for \"Azeri-chemistry\" company. The loan in the amount of $ 75 million is allocated under the guarantee of the Azerbaijani government. I want you to know that we approve the guarantee of the government for the first time and it concers to the credit of \"Eximbank\" of Japan. There are other very important projects for us. Many other proposals were made by other major Japanese companies which require the guarantees of the Azerbaijani government. However, we have refrained from signing the agreements with them, and agreed only with the proposal of the company \"Nichimen\" in connection with that ethylene factory. You have been negotiating on this issue with our company and Azerbaijan for the long time. In our meeting on February 24, here in Tokyo, you asked me for a government guarantee for the loan. You took the responsibility to ensure the construction of the ethylene factory on a very high level and within the shortest time. I believed and agreed with that. I stress it once more that this is the first time that I give my consent to a government guarantee. We discussed this project, and you stated that 15 per cent of the cost of the construction will be funded by your company. The most important condition of our agreement and for this loan is that after the completion of the construction the loan will be repaid to \"Eximbank\" with your help, that is, by purchasing the products of that factory. This commitment is stressed in the agreement between your company and the Azerbaijani company.  Taking into consideration the difficult financial situation in Azerbaijan, I took great responsibility by giving the government guarantee to the loan allocated by your company for a project on that factory. You took the responsibility to ensure the construction of the ethylene factory in time, finance 15 percent of the project and provide us with the repayment of the loan within 10 years due to the fact that the produced products will be competitive in the world market. You will buy these products and pay us back. The conditions are very clear and comprehensive. I have fulfilled my mission, now it is up to you. I trusted you, and I want to hope that you will justify it.

I wish you a successful, honest cooperation with us, execution of obligations in due time and with good quality. I wish you and your company great successes. I know that you have other proposals for cooperation with Azerbaijan. You will take an exam for the first agreement. I hope you will pass this exam successfully and we shall cooperate with you in future. I wish you successes. Thank you.