There are many Israeli companies in various fields that are ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the liberated territories, Ambassador of Israel to Azerbaijan George Deek told Trend.
As he said, Israel has expressed its readiness for cooperation in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan in the field of agriculture, water resources management, and mine clearance.
“So, these are the main fields, which I believe we can cooperate: de-mining, reconstruction, agriculture, water, but of course we also see the opportunities for cooperation and sharing the know-how in various fields, for example, it can be in healthcare,” added the ambassador.
Ambassador Deek also spoke in detail about the farm project in the Zangilan district.
“It’s a project run by Azerbaijani company and they have brought on board with our help an Italian company and an Israeli company. An idea behind that is that the Azerbaijani company is building the infrastructure in the area, the Israeli company is building a dairy farm for buffaloes, where we will take care of them and feed and grow them to produce maximum and best quality of milk, and that milk will be given to the Italian company which will open the food processing plant, use that milk and turns it into cheese and that cheese will be marketed to the local and international markets,” the ambassador explained.
As he said, the project is planned to be finished and become operational sometime during the end of this year, maybe the beginning of next year.
But first, it’s important to clear those areas from mines to build infrastructure, to provide people with housing, to build them jobs, bringing them fresh water, said the ambassador.
In terms of overall cooperation between the countries’ the ambassador noted that Israel and Azerbaijan can develop relations in the agriculture and water management sectors.
“There’s no reason why we can't work together with Azerbaijan to help bring up the agricultural sector in Azerbaijan, using Israeli technologies from greenhouses to drip irrigation, to different spices and grains and the fertilizers that we use and have developed,” said the ambassador.
He also noted that the same applies to the field of water management.
“When we irrigate, we use smart precision irrigation, as it is now called, which means every seed and every plant gets the exact amount of water it needs, nothing less and nothing more, which means you don’t waste anything, you don’t have the sprinklers that waste a lot of water all over the place but every seed has a special pipe that goes directly to the seed and gives the exact amount of water. So you use less water and you get more products. And this is something that, we believe, we can work on,” noted the ambassador.
“And in fact, we’re planning an official visit related to the agriculture sector, from Azerbaijan to Israel sometime in the near future, as well as an official visit in the field of water management, hopefully also in the near future. So when those visits happen, and when we bring business delegations to meet each other, then, I think, people will be exposed to the different possibilities of cooperation that exist,” said the ambassador.
In addition, he said Israel is capable of cooperating with Azerbaijan in any other areas as well.
“For example, the field of healthcare. We have a lot of humanitarian projects, we brought in the eye doctors a few months ago, we also contributed some medical equipment to hospitals, to the ministry of health and TABIB during the last war [second Karabakh war] and also afterward, but we believe that we can do a lot, for example training nurses, internship for doctors to go for a few months to Israel or have them work one year in Israel in a local hospital, to get experience and return back," Deek explained.
Also, the ambassador pointed out tourism, as one of the areas of development.
"In 2016 there were around 10,000 Israeli tourists coming to Azerbaijan, in 2019, only 3 years later we had 50,000 – 5 times higher in 3 years. Unfortunately, last year and even this year with the COVID-19, this has gone drastically down as everywhere, but hopefully when we 'open the gates again', then we will see the surge in tourism from 50,000 maybe to even 100,000," he concluded.