Chinese companies have invested about $800 million in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said during a meeting with the Ambassador of China to Azerbaijan Wei Jinghua.

Addressing the meeting, the minister stressed that Azerbaijan attaches special importance to cooperation with China.

Speaking about the development of relations with China in the fields of transit transport, trade, investment, tourism and other areas, the minister noted that the trade turnover of Azerbaijan with China increased by 20 percent in 2017, reaching $1.3 billion.

It was noted that a wine house will be opened in Shanghai, in Beijing and other major cities by the end of this year, it is also planned to open trade and wine houses, the Azerbaijani delegations are expected to attend the Chinese-Eurasian exhibition, which will be held in Urumqi in August this year and the international IMPORT EXPO 2018 exhibition, which will be held in November in Shanghai.

The Chinese ambassador, in turn, expressed his satisfaction with the development of Azerbaijan, the expansion of relations between the countries, expressed confidence in the further development of Chinese-Azerbaijani cooperation, and shared his views on the prospects for the development of economic relations.

The sides exchanged views on the prospects of development of Azerbaijani-Chinese economic relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Trade and economic contacts occupy a significant place in bilateral relations between China and Azerbaijan. The process of interaction between the two countries was marked by constant tendencies of expansion and strengthening of cooperation.

The cooperation between China and Azerbaijan strongly contributes to the realization of the Great Silk road program.

The Great Silk Road is a general name of a caravan road, which has been the main two-way trading bridge of East and West since the 3rd century BC up to now. The Great Silk Road starts in Japan and China stretches up to Europe cutting through India, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Northern Africa including connecting the Indian Ocean, the Chinese Sea, the Japanese Sea, the Red Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean Sea.

China became Azerbaijan’s 4th largest trading partner in 2017. Customs data of Azerbaijan estimated bilateral trade at a record close to $1.3 billion in 2017, up 33 percent from the previous year.

Currently, more than 110 companies with Chinese capital operate in the spheres of trade, services, industry, construction, banking and insurance, agriculture. Some Chinese companies participate as contractors in projects implemented in Azerbaijan.

Exports of Azerbaijani goods amounted to $433.8 million (3.21 percent of total exports), while imports of Chinese products to Azerbaijan reached $854.5 million (9.73 percent of total imports).