Bilateral Meeting between H.E. Zehra Zümrüt SELÇUK and H.E. Rashad MAMMADOV, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Ankara
Date: 06 September 2023
Venue: Ankara - Türkiye

H.E. Zehra Zümrüt SELÇUK held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Rashad MAMMADOV, the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Ankara, Türkie. The meeting aimed at discussing SESRIC's activities relevant to Azerbaijan and exploring potential areas of cooperation between SESRIC and Azerbaijan.

During the meeting, H.E. SELÇUK provided an overview of SESRIC's efforts and activities, focusing specifically on those related to Azerbaijan. SESRIC, known for its data-driven analysis and research, aims to generate insights to inform policymaking and facilitate evidence-based decision-making across OIC countries.

Azerbaijan, being an OIC member country since 1991, is prominently featured in SESRIC's technical reports on social and economic activities. These reports highlight Azerbaijan as a top-performing country or as a country with good practices in various indicators. For instance, Azerbaijan was highlighted in the 2022 edition of SESRIC's "OIC Economic Outlook" report as one of the countries with the largest current account surplus relative to GDP in 2021, ranking 3rd after Libya and Kuwait. Additionally, the report highlighted Azerbaijan among the few OIC countries with a fiscal surplus in 2021.

SESRIC has also collaborated closely with Azerbaijan on capacity-building activities. More than 153 capacity-building activities, including training courses and workshops, have been organized by SESRIC, benefiting the public institutions of Azerbaijan. Notably, the collaboration with the State Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been particularly productive and fruitful, with their active participation in OIC Statistical Commission sessions facilitated by SESRIC.

H.E. MAMMADOV expressed his sincere appreciation for SESRIC's continuous efforts and highlighted the importance of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), of which Azerbaijan is a founding member since its establishment in October 2009. He emphasized the shared values, history, and goals of the Turkic nations and expressed his optimism for the future, believing that continued partnership with SESRIC will yield even greater benefits for all member countries.

Looking ahead, both SESRIC and the Embassy of Azerbaijan underlined the importance of further collaboration along with the advanced discussions that are underway to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with key institutions in Azerbaijan, including the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations, the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population.

Highlighting the importance of youth development, SESRIC has launched the SESRIC Emerging Talents Capacity Building Programme (SETCAB) to provide practical work experience and exposure to young talents from OIC member countries. Azeri students were extended an invitation to apply for this program, with the aim of enriching their knowledge in statistics, socio-economic research, and training.

In conclusion, the bilateral meeting between H.E. SELÇUK and H.E. Rashad MAMMADOV has strengthened the relationship between SESRIC and Azerbaijan. It reaffirmed the shared commitment to further enhance cooperation and contribute to the development and well-being of the OIC community as a whole. The signing of a MoU and future joint projects between SESRIC and relevant Azeri institutions are expected to open new avenues of partnership and mutual benefit.