BAKU, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev said Tuesday his country attaches great importance to the development of trade and economic relations with China.
"It is evidenced by the fact that Azerbaijan organized export missions to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Urumqi," Mustafayev said at a reception to mark the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He described China as one of the major trade partners of Azerbaijan.
Mustafayev, who also co-chairs China-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee, pointed out great opportunities for cooperation in the field of investment.
"112 Chinese companies have been registered in our country. China has invested 779 million U.S. dollars in Azerbaijan's economy, while Azerbaijan has invested 17 million U.S. dollars in China. Chinese companies have participated as contractors in the implementation of 12 state-based projects worth a total of 598 million U.S. dollars," he said.
The minister also hailed the two countries' successful cooperation within international organizations.
Chinese ambassador to Azerbaijan Wei Jinghua said that last year saw bilateral trade reach an all-time high of 1.3 billion dollars.
"From January to July 2018, bilateral trade between China and Azerbaijan reached 616 million U.S. dollars," the ambassador said, while stressing China has become Azerbaijan's seventh largest trading partner and the third largest source of imports.
Wei hailed youth and people-to-people exchanges, saying this "further promotes mutual understanding and friendship between people of the two countries."
He also affirmed China's willingness to work together with Azerbaijan to push the relationship to a higher level by jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative.
This year marked the 26th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic relations between China and Azerbaijan. China appointed its first ambassador to Baku in 1992, two years before Azerbaijan appointed its first envoy to Beijing.