Azerbaijan has more than oil: envoy

Staff Report

While on outstanding terms diplomatically and politically, Japan and Azerbaijan still have room for improvement on the economic front, Azerbaijan Ambassador to Japan Gursel Ismayilzada said Thursday.

Ismayilzada, who paid a courtesy visit to The Japan Times, said Azerbaijan has seen Japanese investment rise in its lucrative oil business, citing Itochu Corp.’s participation in an oil development project.

On the other hand, some of its other industries, including tourism, IT and agriculture, haven’t been fully explored by Japanese firms, Ismayilzada said.

While expressing gratitude for growing corporate support from such big companies as Sumitomo Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp., the ambassador said he hopes more small- and midsize firms will show interest.

“Azerbaijan is a very small country, like the size of Hokkaido, but in the north part of our country we have mountains and skiing resorts, and in the southern part of our country we have hot springs, which might be very interesting to Japanese people,” he said.