Matthew Bryza, an international expert, board member of the Jamestown Foundation and former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan
This year's energy celebrations coincide with really exciting moments. First, there are a lot of expectations on some sort of a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. As a former US co-chair of the Minsk Group, I realise how difficult is to get over the finish line. But something new has happened. When or if the Zangezur corridor becomes a reality, the whole region will see also new opportunities for investments, job creation and foundation for lasting peace. That is a huge development that all people who are interested in the oil and gas exports and production should bear in mind. Second, Azerbaijan is focused on the renewable energy in addition to oil and gas. I think Azerbaijan has very wisely decided to keep as much of its natural gas here, in the country, for petrochemical and electricity production as possible and to use its wind and solar power facilities to generate electricity. So, this is a very important trend at the moment. It happens just at the same time as Europe is finally so focused on how important is to bring gas from Azerbaijan. This is a great historical moment for Azerbaijan.
I am sure that, as usual, the exhibition convenes all the major actors in the energy sector of this region. This is the biggest annual event for the oil and gas sector. Everyone wants to know what is happening here in Azerbaijan. But this exhibition is a good opportunity to show everybody that Azerbaijan is a friend and a reliable partner. For sure, we come here for business, but people see also this fantastic city and the Azerbaijani people, which is very good for the country as well.