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Azerbaijan-Italian cooperation: the secret or author of successful Technip Energies projects in Azerbaijan


I think many people are interested in writing articles about Italy, expressing their opinions, reading about this country and studying it. It seems to me, that the main reason for the interest in this amazing country is its ancient and rich history, the beautiful and unusual nature that has made it the most attractive natural place in the world, the very ancient cultural monuments preserved here, the rich cultural heritage brought to the world by this country as well as many similar facts.

I would like to make special mention of the human factor. In my view, Italians differ from all Europeans in that they have the same “hot blood” as Southerners.

Speaking of the South, I should say the following. Obviously, the southern part of the globe is a vast territory, to which the whole world turns to fill its spiritual and moral needs in various fields: culture, art, science, astronomy, medicine, etc.

That is to say, information about the rich, innumerable material and spiritual monuments that the south has given to the world has a solid foundation. And it helps to carry this whole trove of knowledge into the future for hundreds and thousands of years.

Thus, if we are talking about the idea of the basis of creation, then the South can be called the centre of this very foundation.

In this context, the south of Europe is Italy. This country gave mankind masterpieces of culture, art and painting. And with its music, Italy captures the hearts of people in almost every corner of the world

In this case I would like to draw a parallel between Italy and Azerbaijan. Shusha is called the conservatoire of our native Karabakh, and Karabakh the conservatoire of Azerbaijan. Recently, the state care about our national music has raised it to the ranks of spiritual pearls of the world. In other words, Azerbaijan is already becoming one of the countries given a pass to the world conservatoire. In this sense, Italy is indeed one of the musical centers not only of Europe, but even of the world.

There are numerous examples that confirm the closeness between Azerbaijan and Italy, as well as many other things that give great impetus to the development of our relations. It is encouraging that bilateral relations have a perfect legal framework. To date, numerous documents have been signed between independent Azerbaijan and Italy. This creates a broad base for progressive development of our relations. Our relations cover political, economic as well as social and humanitarian spheres.

Azerbaijan and Italy are interested in developing political dialogue at the highest level and enhancing cooperation between the legislative and executive bodies of the two states. The parliaments of both countries constantly maintain ties and try to contribute to the development of Azerbaijani-Italian relations built on a solid foundation. The high level of inter-parliamentary ties plays an important role in the development of inter-state relations.

Representatives of our delegations are always greeted with warmth and goodwill when they visit Italy. This warmth comes not only from the people, but also from the streets, buildings, places that still preserve the history, the mysterious beauty that God gave to this country. Walking through the streets, every visitor imagines themselves in those historical scenes that they have read in books or seen in films about this ancient country and its capital, Rome. And even if it is the first time he or she has been there, he or she feels in a beautiful and familiar environment. And the sincere good-natured attitude of the people is even more appealing to these places.

In all official and unofficial meetings there is a pleasant and friendly attitude towards Azerbaijanis. These relations are of a specific nature, which on the whole can be assessed as a manifestation of Italian interest in Azerbaijan, and of Italians’ interest in our people.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attaches great importance to further strengthening of relations between our countries and peoples. Italy is one of the most important partners of our country in Europe and in the world. There are good prospects for further expansion of relations between the two countries. It should be noted that Azerbaijan, which plays a leading role in international projects in the region, has become a reliable strategic partner of Europe and Italy at the same time.

Azerbaijan and Italy have mutually beneficial cooperation within the framework of a number of international organisations, as well as at the level of their parliamentary assemblies. And it is considered advisable to further deepen this cooperation in the future. There are close ties between our parliaments. It is encouraging that both parliaments have interparliamentary working groups and recent reciprocal visits between the two countries make an important contribution to these relations.

At the beginning of my conversation, I figuratively put forward ideas that there are certain similarities between Italy and Azerbaijan. I should also note that, being in ancient Italy, the statement of Russian writer Maxim Gorky about the comparison of Baku with its twin city Naples after his visit to Italy at the beginning of the last century comes to mind. Indeed, the natural similarity of our maritime countries is reflected in the traditions of our peoples. Both peoples are peaceful, hospitable and always strive for justice. All this creates favourible conditions for mutual sincere relations, mutual understanding in all issues and friendship.

I would like to note that indeed Italy as a country with rich culture, history of great statehood, strong economy and peculiar place in the world politics is always of great interest. Azerbaijan also has special interest in this country. Therefore, Italian literature, history and culture are watched with great interest in our country. There are many factors where our interests coincide politically and economically.

Italian businessmen and companies are investing in Azerbaijan’s economy and are directly involved in the exploitation of the Caspian Sea’s hydrocarbon resources. One such company is the Italian company Technip Energies.

It should be noted, that back in 2011 the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited Rome at the invitation of the President of the Italian Republic to participate in the events to mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. At the residence allocated to him the President of Azerbaijan held meetings with the heads of a number of Italian companies. One of them was Marco Villa, CEO of Technip Energies, a company producing engineering and technological equipment for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. The meeting included an exchange of views on the prospects of cooperation in various fields between the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Technip Energies.

On 5 November 2016, PU Azerikimya and Technip Energies signed an EPC contract as part of the Ethylene-Polyethylene Plant reconstruction project. Implementation of the project will increase annual ethylene production from 100-120 thousand tonnes to 192 thousand tonundernes, propylene production from 80-90 thousand tonnes to 187 thousand tonnes, including extension of the plant’s operating life by 20 years.

It may be noted that the main aspects of Technip Energies’ successful projects in Azerbaijan have to do with the human factor, as well as with the successful human resource assignment brought in from Italy to Azerbaijan. It should also be noted that the love and respect of the Italian engineers involved in the projects for the Azerbaijani mentality, unique traditions, history and culture, values, customs and national characteristics of the Azerbaijani people make Technip Energies an even more reliable partner.

In fact, Leonardo Fioravanti, one of the participants in the reconstruction project of the Sumgait ethylene-polyethylene plant, is an exemplary example of this. In carrying out his work, his arguments about the national identity of the Azerbaijani people as a whole, a way of life based on national values, traditions and a national mentality, helped to create a professional and stable environment between local and Italian specialists. At the same time, this Italian specialist was successful in introducing continuous improvements in work safety, its reliability and legal performance in project operations.

At the same time, he devoted much energy to expanding the knowledge and skills of the workforce and developing the capacity of local specialists. Of particular note was his interest in the life and inimitable professional activities of the great leader Heydar Aliyev. Adhering to President Ilham Aliyev’s idea of training highly professional national cadres and appointing them to higher positions to make use of their knowledge and skills, he appointed local specialists to senior positions under his leadership.

L. Fioravanti lived in Baku for a long time with his wife and two children, and brought them up based on the principle of loyalty to Azerbaijan’s national values. His example once again confirms that Azerbaijani traditions are far more humane towards worldly principles and far more tolerant towards multicultural values. And in this regard, it can be particularly noted that professionals such as Leonardo Fioravanti have played an important role in the successful development of Technip Energies in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who has won the deep love of his people and state by his activities, at the same time demonstrates to the world the spiritual richness of the Azerbaijani people with regard to the principles of tolerance serving worldly values.

All these works are very important factors in bringing the peoples of Azerbaijan and Italy closer to each other, establishing broader partnership and cooperation relations. In general, based on relations in the socio-humanitarian sphere, cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan in tourism, student exchange, science is the main principle leading to further deepening of our relations in the political and economic spheres.

Economic and trade relations with Italy are proof that Azerbaijan has ample opportunity to become an important energy partner for Europe.

About Fidan Abdullayeva