Azerbaijan International

Spring 2002 (10.1)
Page 83

ITOCHU Projects in Baku

by Shiro Morita, Chairman

Left: Itochu donated computers to the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy and Baku Computer College.
Right: (far left) Kotaro Morishita, general manager of Itochu's Baku office, (middle) Shiro Morita, chairman of ITOCHU, Oil Academy Rector Siyavush Garayev and Deputy Education Minister Elmar Gasimov.

ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co. first came to Baku in February 1996, when it joined the AIOC Consortium for the ACG (Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli) Project. At that time, ITOCHU Oil was the first Japanese company to open an office in Azerbaijan. We believe that our leadership set a good example for other Japanese companies; since we arrived here, many other large Japanese trading companies have also established a presence in Azerbaijan.

In December 1998, ITOCHU Oil and three other Japanese companies signed a contract with SOCAR for the Atashgah/Yanan Tava and Mugan Daniz prospective structures. ITOCHU Oil is also participating in the important Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan pipeline project.

One important aspect of the company's activities in Azerbaijan has been its involvement in various humanitarian aid programs. Over the past five years, ITOCHU Oil has made several donations to victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and floods. In cooperation with the Government of Azerbaijan, the company has also provided assistance to refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh. In addition, ITOCHU Oil has supported the development of culture and sports in Azerbaijan.

Our latest endeavor is the creation of the ITOCHU Oil Fund, to which the company plans to contribute $10,000 each year. On the recommendation of Abid Sharifov, Deputy Prime Minister, ITOCHU Oil has decided to focus this year's assistance on education. Our company was grateful to receive the advice of Misir Mardanov, Minister of Education, regarding the use of this year's project.

As a first step in the mutual cooperation between ITOCHU Oil, the Oil Academy and the new Baku Computer College, we presented computers and color printers. ITOCHU Oil is pleased to offer this help to young Azerbaijanis, in their quest to learn computer skills for an ever-changing and developing world.


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