I was recently asked an interesting question – on why the Republic of Azerbaijan invests so heavily in diplomacy. I found that to be an interesting question on several accounts. For one, the question was not directed at the best person. I am hardly the most authoritative source of information on Azerbaijan foreign policy. I just stopped short of telling the person who posed the question to get in touch with the relevant people – the folks at the Azerbaijan foreign ministry. Furthermore, the question came across as being a rather obvious one. I was tempted to tell the person who asked this question that Azerbaijan invests heavily in diplomacy for the same reasons that other nations do so. But I felt that if I answered the question that way, the person who asked it could perhaps feel that I was being rude. So I decided to answer the question in more specific terms. Here then, are the reasons as to why Azerbaijan invests heavily in diplomacy.
One reason as to why Azerbaijan invests heavily in diplomacy is to attract and protect trade opportunities. This is the main objective of modern diplomacy, especially for low income and middle income economies such as Azerbaijan’s, is economic. The trade opportunities that are attracted and protected through Azerbaijan’s diplomacy efforts are considerable.
Another reason as why Azerbaijan invests heavily in diplomacy is to attract foreign investment. One measure of how well a nation is doing is in the level of foreign investment it is able to attract. But to attract such foreign investment, a nation often has to engage in a bit of diplomacy. And that is why Azerbaijan opts to invest heavily in diplomacy.
Yet another reason as to why Azerbaijan invests heavily in diplomacy is to protect the interests of its citizen abroad. That is, the citizens of Azerbaijan who happen to be working and living abroad. You realize that the well-being of such people depends on the bilateral relations between the nations they live and work in, and Azerbaijan. Such good relations are attained through diplomacy – hence Azerbaijan’s heavy investment in diplomacy.