The 2011 Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition took place 7-10 June at the Baku Expo Center, in Azerbaijan. The adjoining conference was held on 8-9 June at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baku.
This year, the Caspian Oil & Gas exhibition benefitted from a healthy 14% growth in show space compared with 2010. This can be attributed to the influx of international exhibitors, who comprised nearly half of the total exhibition space. The event brought together participants from 30 countries, which saw 60% more countries than last year. 12% of exhibitors were new to the show.
Recently ranked 53 of 183 economies by the World Bank in 2011 for „ease of doing business‟, Azerbaijan‟s increasing presence of foreign companies in the local oil and gas sector is welcomed by the country‟s President, HE Ilham Aliyev.
During the opening ceremony of the exhibition, he commented: “I am very happy to see that interest in this exhibition increases from year to year. This is an excellent sign and testifies to the fact that, despite the implementation of major investment projects in Azerbaijan in previous years, the interest of foreign investors in our country‟s oil and gas sector has not lessened. The reason for this is the long-term nature of our oil strategy.”
Presentations made by a host of international government representatives at the opening reflects the importance of Azerbaijan as a major player in the global oil and gas community. Distinguished speakers included Richard Morningstar, US Secretary of State‟s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy; Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, and Alexander Khetaguri, the Georgian Energy Minister.
Messages of support from the leaders of America, Great Britain, Turkey and the EU were also relayed at the opening.
Tamam Bayatly, Communications Manager, BP Azerbaijan commented: “The Caspian Oil & Gas show is a very good opportunity for investors in Azerbaijan, to understand what it is like to do business here to international standards, to find partners and to network. New exhibitors can also find other local and international companies in the region to do business with in order to enter the market. In this way, the Caspian Oil & Gas exhibition creates opportunities for new comers and for those companies who have already established their business here.”