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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article7 June 2018Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

The EU announces support to the region of Lankaran to boost rural and regional competitiveness in Azerbaijan

The European Union plans to continue its support to Azerbaijan’s economic diversification by boosting its support to the Lankaran Economic Region. The EU will provide over €13 million to boost local social-economic development and reduce the gap...

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The European Union plans to continue its support to Azerbaijan’s economic diversification by boosting its support to the Lankaran Economic Region. The EU will provide over €13 million to boost local social-economic development and reduce the gap between Baku and the rest of the country. Lankaran has the lowest economic output and income per capita and the lowest levels of investments per capita, but at the same time, an undisputed potential in the production of high-value horticultural produce. The EU programme will focus on enhancing the competitiveness and value-added of the fruit and vegetable sector of the region in a sustainable manner.

European Commission Director for the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood, Lawrence Meredith, was in Lankaran on 06 June to meet with local authorities, visit the VET school Jalilabad, which is supported by the EU, and talk to university students at the University of Lankaran.

During the visit, Mr. Meredith, said: "The EU's support to the Azerbaijan is focused on bringing tangible benefits to the lives of citizens across the country. Our focus is to make the region of Lankaran more competitive, both at national and international level.

The EU plans to work together with the Government of Azerbaijan to develop a system for regional spatial planning in line with EU standards and best practices, establish a modern network of local economic and community cooperation hubs and improve Lankaran's entrepreneurial and investment conditions in the fruit and vegetable sector.

These measures will contribute to a more market-oriented production of fruit and vegetables, which will pave the way for an improved business environment in the sector, to the benefit of the citizens of the region of Lankaran. This new assistance package in the area of rural and regional development confirms the EU's and Azerbaijan's willingness to advance cooperation in a number of areas essential for Azerbaijan's economic diversification agenda.