France and Azerbaijan

Presentation

Political relations

Some 25 years after Azerbaijan’s independence was restored, bilateral relations between France and Azerbaijan are excellent and, in addition to political dialogue and economic exchanges, the relationship is highly diverse, notably in the cultural and scientific fields. Furthermore, Azerbaijan is grateful for France’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the Minsk Group.

Visits

  • 14 March 2017: official visit by the President of Azerbaijan to France
  • 25 April 2015: working visit by the French President to Baku
  • 26 October 2014: working visit by the Azerbaijani President to Paris for the Nagorno-Karabakh summit
  • 11 and 12 May 2014: State visit by the French President to Azerbaijan
  • Ministerial Visits
  • 10-11 January 2017: visit to Baku by Minister of State for Development and Francophonie
  • 8-10 February 2017: visit to Baku by Minister of State for State Reform and Simplification
  • 17 November, 6 September and 19 May 2016: visit to Paris by the Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs

Economic relations

Azerbaijan is the Caucasus country with which France has developed the most significant trade relations (trade volumes of €887 million in 2015), with a trade balance showing a big deficit for France of €759 million in 2015. While French imports from Azerbaijan consist exclusively of energy products, French exports to Azerbaijan are more diverse with transport equipment posting significant growth. In terms of investment and big contracts, French firms have a strong position in the oil and oil-related sector, as well as in the banking, telecommunication, transport and tourism sectors.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

In 2016, France dedicated €277,000 to cooperation and cultural action programmes. An Institut Français was established in 2004 in Baku, where a French high school financed by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and managed by the French Secular Mission (MLF) also opened in 2013 and moved to new premises in September 2014. Lastly, the start to the 2016 academic year was marked by the inauguration of the French-Azerbaijani university in Baku. The idea for the university was made official with the signing of a letter of intent during the French President’s visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan in April 2015.

Other cooperation

Decentralized cooperation has been increasing in recent years and now includes around 15 partnerships essentially focused on the agriculture, wine and tourism sectors. A committee to manage decentralized cooperation was created by the two governments in 2016.

Updated: 09.08.17

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