Pakistan-Azerbaijan Relations: An Expert Opinion

14 June, 14:05

Pakistan-Azerbaijan Relations: An Expert Opinion Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan. Executive Director: The Center for South & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad

Regional Expert: Azerbaijan & South Caucasus.

It seems that emerging socio-economic, geopolitical and geostrategic trends have encouraged the governments of Pakistan and Azerbaijan to forge their bilateral relations in diverse sectors of economy ranging from energy cooperation to reconstruction of newly liberated areas of Karabakh, investments to integrated efforts to start joint ventures, trade & commerce to tourism, culture, health, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and projects of greater regional connectivity between South Asia, Central Asia, South Caucasus and last but not least greater Eurasian region.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan visits Azerbaijan today which vividly reflects Islamabad and Baku warm and friendly bilateral ties, historically maintained ties and culture everlasting connectivity.

In this regard, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is going to undertake an official two-day visit to Azerbaijan from June 14, interestingly, a day after Pakistan issued two tenders seeking spot LNG cargoes for the first time in nearly a year, and also announced a deal that will see Baku supplying Islamabad with one LNG cargo every month.

Hopefully, this visit of primer Shehbaz would further strengthen energy cooperation between two countries along with further consolidation on different mutually beneficial sectors of economy. Moreover, it anticipates that expected energy cooperation would be further associated with the concept of Middle Corridor. Pakistan is the gateway of greater regional connectivity with Central Asian region whereas Azerbaijan and its Zanzegur corridor holds the key of greater Eurasian connectivity thus both countries are supplementary and complementary to each other.

Furthermore, Pakistan LNG, a government subsidiary that procures LNG from the international market, has one tender seeking six cargoes on a delivered-ex-ship (DES) basis to Port Qasim in Karachi in October and December, according to the tenders posted online. The delivery windows are Oct 5-6, 20-21 and 31, and Dec 7-8, 13-14 and 24-25. The tender will close on June 20.

The other tender seeks three cargoes, also on a DES basis to Port Qasim, for delivery windows of Jan 3-4, 28-29 and Feb 23-24. The second tender closes on July 14.

Pakistan LNG last issued a tender seeking 10 spot cargoes in July 2022, but it received no offers.

Various ministers representing the priority areas of cooperation with Azerbaijan will be part of the PMs entourage.

According to the PMO, the prime minister will hold wide-ranging talks with the President of Azerbaijan H.E. Ilham Aliyev on key areas of cooperation including trade, investment and energy. Regional and global issues of mutual concern and cooperation in multilateral forums will also be discussed.

Pakistan-Azerbaijan relationship is embedded in commonalities of faith, culture and history, and strengthened by mutual trust and convergence of views on regional and global matters which are now going to further strengthened, streamlined and systematized after the visit of prime minister of Pakistan to Baku.

The business community, investors and representatives of different Chambers of Commerce of Pakistan dubbed this visit as launching pad for further energy cooperation between two countries which would foster process of industrialization and socio-economic prosperity in the country.

The security expert termed this visit as an important political engagement which has multiplier socio-economic, geopolitical and geostrategic mutual benefits for both the countries in the days to come. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has opened an window of opportunity for further strengthening of strategic partnership in terms of agriculture cooperation, health, vaccine, education, science & technology, pharmaceutical, infrastructure development and last but not least banking & finance cooperation between two allies.

In this regard, frequent leadership-level exchanges highlight the bonds of friendship between the two countries and contribute to closer multifaceted cooperation for the mutual benefit of the people of Pakistan and Azerbaijan.

Furthermore, Pakistan-Azerbaijan military cooperation is also on the increase. India-Armenia increasingly military cooperation has endangered peace and stability in the South Caucasus region which would be neutralized through joint military exercise, joint production of arms, training and sustainable military cooperation in the production of war drones, missile, fighter jet, tank, laser technologies and last but not least, electric war gadgetries in the days to come.

To conclude sincere and systematic efforts should be initiated for the further strengthening of bilateral relations in terms of building of Special Free Economic Zones on reciprocal basis, preferential custom clearance at Karachi and Gawadar, joint construction of energy infrastructure, food and agriculture process unit, textile and fashion, automobiles, cement, export of non-traditional items and information technology.

Azerbaijan Ambassador in Islamabad Khazar Farhadov has been striving hard for the further strengthening of bilateral trade relations between two countries and in this regard he has already initiated integrated and interactive diplomatic measures. The start of Direct Flights between two states has revolutionized human connectivity, business cooperation and bilateral trade volumes.

Azerbaijan considers Pakistan and Turkiye as its special friends and wants to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations with them. Azerbaijan-Turkiye bilateral trade is approximately USD 6 billion and Azerbaijan wants a similar trade volume with Pakistan that would be very beneficial for both countries. Thus the policy makers of both countries should shift their focus towards geo-economic, enabling both countries and their respective private companies to jointly work for the increasing of commercial activities.

Moreover, direct flights between Azerbaijan and Pakistan operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has improved bilateral trade three times between the two countries in 2022 and Hopefuly, Azerbaijan Airlines will also start direct flights with Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad very soon and is also considering to start direct flights to industrial and export centres of Pakistan, which would further contribute to increase bilateral trade between the two brotherly countries.


It is good omen that Azerbaijan under the instructions of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has already exempted Pakistan rice from customs duty and the Pakistani business community should take benefit of this facility. Exemption of custom duty on tomato is under serious consideration and at advance stage of approval.

Both countries have formed Working Groups under Joint Ministerial Commission to increase bilateral cooperation in various sectors including agriculture, trade, banking, IT, tourism, transport, energy, health and said that ICCI should cooperate in identifying companies for these workings groups so that private sectors could lead the promotion of bilateral cooperation in these sectors between the two countries.

It suggests that media should play an important role in creating better awareness in the private sectors of both countries about each others markets to increase business ties.

It suggests that export mix should be further widened because both countries are doing trade in limited items and there is a need of finding new product lines and avenues of cooperation for enhancing trade volume between the two countries.

It also suggests that that both countries should encourage regular exchange of trade delegations to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation.