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Acting Director General Maciej Popowski visits Baku to unlock the potential of the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan

Baku, 18/11/2021 - 16:56, UNIQUE ID: 211118_12
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Acting Director General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Maciej Popowski paid an official visit to Baku on 17-18 November to discuss and take forward the implementation of the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership in Azerbaijan with key government interlocutors.

The Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership is a unique opportunity to support post-pandemic socio-economic recovery, create decent jobs, stimulate innovation and fast-track the green and digital transition in the Eastern Partnership region. By using innovative EU support tools such as blending and the provisioning of guarantees, the plan aims to mobilise up to €2.3 billion of EU funding in order to leverage public and private investment of up to €17 billion for all countries of the Eastern Partnership.

The visit of the acting Director General is a direct follow-up to the visit of Commissioner Varhelyi to Azerbaijan in July, where he presented the then newly launched Economic and Investment plan and its accompanying five flagship initiatives for Azerbaijan. These flagship initiatives - greening of the Port of Baku, digital transport corridor, support to SMEs, innovative rural development and greener cities – have a great potential to attract significant volumes of investments to the country, create jobs and sustainable economic growth.

To kick-start the joint work and identify key investment opportunities, a dedicated workshop on blending, which brought together representatives of the EU, international financial institutions, the Government and key enterprises, took place on 18 November. The workshop was co-organised by the EU and the Ministry of Economy and jointly opened by acting Director General Maciej Popowski, Head of EU Delegation Peter Michalko and deputy Minister of Economy Rovshan Najaf.

Acting Director General Maciej Popowski noted: “The EU has been a steadfast partner of Azerbaijan bringing in EU expertise and best practices through for instance Twinning and TAIEX. We are ready to bring our partnership to a new level by working hand in hand with Azerbaijan to unleash the full potential of the Economic and Investment Plan. My mission to Azerbaijan has shown that potential for investments in Azerbaijan can well go beyond the initially indicated levels. The EU is more than ready to work together with the Government, the private sector and international financial institutions to make a positive change for the lives of everyday citizens in Azerbaijan and across the Eastern Partnership region.”

Head of EU Delegation Peter Michalko said: “We are ready to work together and make our partnership with Azerbaijan even stronger. The workshop on blending is a great opportunity to jointly discuss strategic priorities and put the EU’s innovative tools in practice and generate investment.”

 

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