China Emerges as Leader in Imports to Azerbaijan

China Emerges as Leader in Imports to Azerbaijan

China has solidified its position as the leading importer to Azerbaijan, overtaking other countries in terms of the volume of goods imported during the first two months of the year, according to data from Azerbaijan's State Statistics Committee (SSC). During January and February, Azerbaijan's foreign trade turnover reached approximately $6.4 billion, with imports accounting for $2.65 billion or 31.7 percent of the total.

China accounted for 19.7 percent of the total value of imported goods during this period, outpacing Russia, which accounted for 17.8 percent. The rise in imports from China is largely attributed to an increasing preference for Chinese-made vehicles among Azerbaijanis, as noted by Vahid Ahmadov, a member of the Milli Majlis Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, and Entrepreneurship. "In Azerbaijan, more and more Chinese-made cars have begun to be preferred. The main reason for the rise in imports is the increase in imports of cars from China. The cost of these cars is cheaper than the cost of European-made cars, so the population prefers them," Ahmadov explained.

The preference for Chinese products is also being influenced by economic conditions. Economist Natig Jafarli highlighted that while global prices are increasing, China has experienced deflation for more than half a year, which has increased the purchasing power of the Chinese currency relative to others. "Prices are growing all over the world, inflation is steadily going on, but for more than half a year in China, prices are not growing, but, on the contrary, are falling," Jafarli told RFE.

Additional trade challenges with Russia, prompted by Western sanctions following its aggression against Ukraine, have also played a role. "Stricter rules are being introduced on interbank transfers. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are experiencing such certain problems. This also led to a decrease in the purchase of goods from Russia. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that China is constantly in the top three," Jafarli added.

The shift towards Chinese imports aligns with broader economic strategies, as the Azerbaijani government actively works to expand economic relations with Chinese state bodies. This trend is reflective of broader global shifts in trade and economics, where China's competitive pricing and favorable economic conditions make its products more attractive in various international markets, especially in times of global inflationary pressures.

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