Countries / Territories


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Country Brief

Azerbaijan is a landlocked nation in Southwest Asia bordering the Caspian Sea, Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Although a dependence upon oil and petroleum-based industry has resulted in a large trade surplus, Azerbaijan has found it difficult to expand other sectors of the economy, instead relying upon the import of value added goods. Commodity exports are destined for a small group of developed markets while non-oil products are exported mainly to Russia. Not only does product and market concentration make Azerbaijan susceptible to concentrated price and market fluctuations, but energy supplies are declining rapidly, reinforcing the need for diversification. In order to access a wider variety of markets, Azerbaijan is undergoing WTO accession and pursuing increased cooperation with the EU. Despite these efforts, trade competitiveness is still hindered by low productivity, limited financial access, burdensome regulatory and business environments, and underdeveloped physical, institutional, and quality management infrastructure.