A delegation of the first ever AmCham Azerbaijan Door-Knock Mission to the United States of America, departs from Washington, D.C. back to Baku. Led by AmCham Executive Director, Mrs. Natavan Mammadova, and BP Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Vice President and concurrently as AmCham Board Member, Mr. Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli.
The mission became a great success having among its delegates over 10 top-level executives representing U.S. businesses that operate in Azerbaijan: Mr. Bakhtiyar Akhundov, Country Manager at Chevron Khazar Ltd, Azerbaijan, Mr. Mushfig Aliyev, Partner at KPMG Azerbaijan, Mr. Elshad Farzaliyev, Communications Manager, Caucasus and Central Asia Region at The Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Tahir Gozal, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cross Caspian Oil and Gas Logistics, Mrs. Sevda Khanmammadova, CEO at FedEx Express Licensee of Federal Express Corporation, Mr. Samad Khanmammedli, Sales Manager at FedEx Express Licensee of Federal Express Corporation, Mr. Eldar Mamedzadeh, Chief Commercial Officer at Branch of Nobel Oil Ltd in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Vugar Samadli, Acting CEO at Branch of Nobel Oil Ltd in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The senior-management representatives of John Deere, The Boeing Company, Procter & Gamble as well as WCC International joined the mission in the U.S.
The Door-Knock Mission was organized with the aim to promote investment in Azerbaijan. With this purpose, within four days AmCham delegates took part in tens of meetings with members of the U.S. Congress, Administration officials, think tanks, and leaders from the U.S. business community. In particular, the first day of the Mission highlighted the meetings with Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the USA H.E. Elin Suleymanov, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Larry Bucshon Mrs. Susey Davis, Director for Europe and Middle East Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives Mr. Jason Buntin and Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Mr. Gary Litman. All the meetings proved extremely productive: the counterparts were briefed on AmCham member-companies’ businesses in Azerbaijan and their importance for the United States in terms of taxes paid and jobs created, information on improving business climate in Azerbaijan and new emerging opportunities for foreign investors was also shared. The possible ways of strengthening bilateral economic and trade relations between two countries were also discussed.
Another day of the Door-Knock Mission featured the meeting with the Director of Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department Mr. William Silkworth, where the delegates took an opportunity to brief him and his staff on energy projects implemented in and by Azerbaijan, new pipelines and benefits of these alternative routes, important role Azerbaijan plays in the energy security of the region. Representatives of Oil and Gas sector companies shared their experiences on PSAs and doing business in Azerbaijan for the last 20+ years. Another important meeting the delegates had was at the Department of Commerce with the Director of the Office for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Mr.Matthew Edwards and his team. Mr. Edwards demonstrated deep knowledge of the economy of Azerbaijan, reforms being implemented in the country and AmCham’s role in the Public-Private Dialogue. Representatives of AmCham member-companies shared their views how the Department of Commerce can contribute to strengthen trade and economic relations between the countries.
Further, the delegates had the meeting with Ms. Catherine Fulton, Director for Europe, Africa, and Middle East Division at Foreign Agricultural Service. They learned a lot about the services provided by the Service, their technical assistance and capacity building projects, food safety and forestry services. Another meeting was with Mr. Peter Chandler, Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. AmCham member-companies’ representatives provided him with comprehensive information on recent economic developments in the country, path of reforms aimed at improving business climate and very promising newly emerging economic opportunities. The day continued at the State Department meeting with Mr. Scott Ticknor, Acting Special Representative at Commercial and Business Affairs. The delegates exchanged views on a wide range of issues, including the role of the U.S. Government in attracting more American investors to Azerbaijan.
In addition, the delegates visited the offices of three Congressmen – Mr. Scott Perry, Mr. John Curtis and Mr. Cuellar. Mr. Curtis and Mr. Cuellar recently visited Azerbaijan and possessed very good knowledge of the country, its economic agenda and priorities. The delegates were delighted to hear their high appreciation of AmCham Azerbaijan activities and its role in the Public-Private Dialogue. All the participant company representatives had a chance to share with Congressmen their success stories in the country, positive changes impacting their daily businesses and expectations from U.S. decision-makers.
Finally, the mission ended with the Third Trans-Caspian Forum which took place at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where policy and business leaders from the United States and the Trans-Caspian corridor countries came together to discuss opportunities and challenges in enhancing their strategic engagement and explore business, trade and investment opportunities.
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