UAE and Azerbaijan to boost digital infrastructure, launch joint investment platform

Total trade between the two countries reached AED2.4 bn in 2021
UAE and Azerbaijan to boost digital infrastructure, launch joint investment platform
Part of the signing ceremony. (Photo Credit: WAM)

The UAE Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport in the Republic of Azerbaijan have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective of enhancing Azerbaijan’s digital infrastructure, particularly through the development of data centers.

The MoU was officially signed by Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, minister of Investment in the UAE, and Rashad Nabiyev, Azerbaijan’s minister of Digital Development and Transport. 

Data centers play a vital role in a country’s digital infrastructure by providing a secure environment for storing critical data and running applications.

Azerbaijan has been actively pursuing the advancement of its digital economy in recent years, including the centralization of e-services and the digitization of public services. Digital transformation is also a key focus area within the government’s social and economic strategy.

The collaboration with the UAE, as outlined in the MoU, is expected to result in a substantial increase in the number of data centers in Azerbaijan.

To ensure effective collaboration, the agreement emphasizes the establishment of strong relationships between public and private sector organizations in both the UAE and Azerbaijan. The MoU also proposes the introduction of incentives for relevant initiatives and aims to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

For over three decades, the UAE and Azerbaijan have fostered strong economic ties, characterized by a significant growth in their non-oil trade value over the last five years, more than tripling its previous level. The two nations are continuously seeking opportunities for collaboration and expanding their non-oil trade relationship. In 2021 alone, the total non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and Azerbaijan amounted to AED2.4 billion.

Read more: Azerbaijan is set to host COP29 in 2024

Joint investment platform

In the same context, ADQ, an investment and holding company based in Abu Dhabi, and Azerbaijan Investment Holding (AIH), a strategic sovereign wealth fund located in Baku, have jointly announced the establishment of a collaborative venture. The primary objective of this joint venture is to make investments in sectors that are of mutual priority and interest to both entities, including agriculture, technology, pharmaceuticals, and energy infrastructure.

The newly formed platform aims to identify and capitalize on investment opportunities, with the ultimate goal of generating sustainable financial returns on the capital deployed. Initially, the focus of investments will be on Azerbaijan, the UAE, and Central Asia, with potential expansion into other countries in the future.

ADQ and AIH will each hold an equal 50 percent stake in the joint venture, with both parties committing USD 500 million to the platform.

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