Domestic Economy

Labor Minister, Azeri Officials Review New Collaboration Prospects

Labor Minister, Azeri Officials  Review New Collaboration ProspectsLabor Minister, Azeri Officials  Review New Collaboration Prospects

Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei, in a meeting with his Azeri counterpart Salim Muslumov in Baku expressed Tehran’s readiness to send Iranian workers to Azerbaijan, in return for providing training courses for Azeri engineers and technicians, IRNA reported.

Rabiei arrived in Baku on Wednesday for a three-day official visit, during which he met with a number of high ranking Azeri government officials.

The Iranian government is considering overseas employment as a strategy to help tackle unemployment at home, as nearly four million university graduates are about to join the employment market within few years.

Faced with a massive number of highly-educated unemployed people, the government sees overseas employment not only as a means of revenue, but also a way to bring expertise and knowledge into the country.

Earlier in January, the labor minister had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his Qatari counterpart, Abdullah Salih al-Khalifi in January, aimed at facilitating Iranian workers employment in Qatar. According to the minister, Iran aims at sending at least 100,000 skilled workers overseas by September.

  Baku Welcomes Iranian Investment

Baku also welcomed Tehran’s proposal for the investment by companies affiliated to Iran’s labor ministry in various economic and industrial sectors of Azerbaijan.

The proposal was extended on Thursday in a meeting between Rabiei and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev.

According to the proposal, companies affiliated to Iran’s labor ministry, including the ministry’s Pension Fund and the Social Security Investment Company have the capacity to invest in economic and industrial sectors of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

During the meeting, Rabiei highlighted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s firm resolve to boost cooperation between Tehran and Baku in all fields, saying: “Exchange of visits by the officials of the two countries will be effective in this respect.”

Calling for “technical and engineering” cooperation in mine, oil and gas industries, the Iranian official said: “Iran is ready to train Azeri engineers and technical experts.”

Mustafayev, for his part, highlighted the importance of Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee’s activities for developing bilateral economic relations, saying: “The ground is ready for the two sides to hold the second session of Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Commission in Tehran.”

  Boosting Cooperation

During his Thursday meeting with the Azeri Prime Minister, Artur Rasizade, the minister said that for the expansion of economic cooperation the existing obstacles to trade, banking, visa requirement and customs affairs must be removed.

“The Iranian president views the Republic of Azerbaijan as a regional ally and has always emphasized on the expansion of cooperation between the two countries,” Rabiei said.

 The Azeri premier, welcomed what he called Iran’s “influential role” in the region, saying “every effort has to be made to unite the Muslim countries in the region.”

Since President Rouhani assumed office in June 2013, the two neighbors have been taking steps to promote bilateral economic and political relations. Last November, Rouhani met with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, in Baku, underscoring the need for further expansion of cooperation in different domains.

Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992. Trade volume between Tehran and Baku currently stands at $500 million; with officials from both countries saying that the figure can increase substantially in future.