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Azerbaijan (Investment)

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 14 July 2011

I would like to thank my hon. Friend for the work he is doing as chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Azerbaijan to develop the relationship between our two countries. I am pleased to say that more than 100 exporting and investing companies have been assisted in Azerbaijan through UK Trade & Investment in the past two financial years alone.

I thank the Minister for his answer. As he will be well aware, over those past two years there has been compound double-digit growth in Azerbaijan. Is he convinced that his Department is doing enough in two specific areas—the fledgling financial services industry in Azerbaijan and infrastructure investment, on which our companies could add a lot in that part of the world?

Across the Government, our new approach to commercial diplomacy is working in all those areas. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe visited Baku last year and took with him a number of companies involved in the infrastructure project. I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that the British music industry will take all the possible opportunities presented by the Eurovision song contest being held in Azerbaijan next year, and that they are not “Running Scared”.