Heydar Aliyev’s Economic Vision in the Age of Globalization and its Relevance to Baku-Islamabad Trading CollaborationAttiq-ur-Rehman - Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad.

The completion of three decades of bilateral multidimensional cooperation between Baku and Islamabad has encouraged the leaders of both nations to arrange different events to celebrate a pleasant interstate interaction between Pakistan and Azerbaijan. One of the most interesting facts about the ongoing cooperative bilateralism between both states is the absence of critical developments between both governments. The absence of any critical development between Baku and Islamabad communicated the strong foundations of multileveled PakistanAzerbaijan cooperation to the entire world. In addition to the celebrations of the three-decade completion, the government of Azerbaijan has decided to recall the services of former President Heydar Aliyev, who is widely recognized as the father of modern independent Azerbaijan. 

The Azerbaijani government announced 2023 as the Heydar Aliyev year at the 100th birthday anniversary of the late President. In this way, the decision of the Pakistani and Azerbaijani governments for celebrating the appreciable growth of interstate cooperation between the two states and President Ilham Aliyev’s declaration of 2023 as the Heydar Aliyev Year are the main motivating factors behind this study. The central theme of this study is primarily designed to evaluate the significance of Pakistan-Azerbaijan cooperative trading ties, which could not be divorced from the greater vision of late President Heydar Aliyev due to the fact that the government of Heydar Aliyev paid exclusive attention to the economic growth of the country, and invested multileveled substantial efforts in the domain of international relations (Ilgar, 2022). This trading vision of Azerbaijan selected Pakistan as one of the leading cooperative countries from the South Asian region and maintained dynamic bilateral ties between Islamabad and Baku. The dynamic bilateral ties cover the political, economic, and social areas between Baku and Islamabad while slightly witnessing a brief layer of strategic connection between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.

The contemporary age of globalization has convinced the two-sided formal state authorities to augment the existing formats of their bilateral trade in different areas. The forces of globalization have provided sufficient chances for economic development for all nations around the world and have encouraged the leaders of the various states to explore and augment the trading potentials of their nations in the international system (Zardabli, 2014). Akin to various other bilaterally developed cooperative frameworks of different states, the ongoing cooperative matrix of Pakistan-Azerbaijan relations is an appropriate example. With the support of a common cultural and shared ideological basis, the governments of Pakistan and Azerbaijan have mutually formulated strong people-to-people contacts and allowed their respective societies to interact freely with each other. The growth of societal connections supplemented the economic vision of both states by increasing the chances of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in their ongoing trading partnership. A persistent growth of societal between Islamabad and Baku has increased the chances of FDI in both states because of social interaction between both nations have explored various invest avenues. 

Therefore, this study primarily examines the PakistanAzerbaijan trading partnership in the globalized world, deeply rooted in Heydar Aliyev’s vision of diversifying his country’s economy. To support the main arguments of this study, more attention has been paid to various online data sources due to the unavailability of sufficient literature on the central theme of this study. Few books have research papers have also been explored to strength the initial understanding of the central theme of this study. The combination of formal and informal interactions with the epistemological communities of Azerbaijan is also considered helpful sources for creating symmetry between primary and secondary data sources for this study. Thus, time and financial constraints limited this research to various online resources, which has made this study a desk research, mainly relying on secondary data sources. Additionally, this study is an academic endeavour to comprehend the three-decades-long cooperative bilateralism between Pakistan and Azerbaijan while analyzing its growth in the age of globalization.    

The Vision of Heydar Aliyev 

To study the ongoing designs of interstate collaboration between Baku and Islamabad, it is appropriate to understand the nature of Azerbaijani foreign relations, which were initially defined by former President Heydar Aliyev. In other words, Heydar Aliyev’s vision of connecting the Azerbaijani economy with the global markets is a prerequisite to comprehend the growth of trading cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan in the contemporary globalized world (Hasanli, 2016). The multidimensional vision of Heydar Aliyev and his dynamic mainstream policies ensured the country’s stimulated economic growth, which helped Azerbaijan become one of the leading progressive nations in the world. The greater vision of Heydar Aliyev introduced various economic reforms in the country with the intensions of placing Azerbaijan at various progressing trading platforms of the world. Thus, the leadership of Heydar Aliyev shaped the economy of Azerbaijan and marked it as one of the persistently improving economies of the world. Under the same leadership, the Azerbaijani nation achieved great success in several trading matters with the support of new industrial and economic growth methods. 

The multidimensional leadership traits of Heydar Aliyev’s personality protected the Azerbaijani nation in difficult times and helped it in overcoming serious economic challenges. During his tenure as the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (1993-2003), the Azerbaijani nation focused on strengthening the country’s trading potential to empower the economy, and emphasized the nature of international relations where Baku could augment its diplomatic forces around the globe (Verda, 2014). In this way, Heydar Aliyev served his nation by introducing various policy reforms mainly based on his intellectual and political insights. He projected his country’s cooperative status and the soft image around the globe and proved it through various policy initiatives. The projection of Azerbaijan’s soft image worldwide let the Azerbaijani nation explore the whole world in productive and positive directions.

As a father of modern independent Azerbaijan, the efforts of Heydar Aliyev explored different dimensions of

Azerbaijan’s economy and discovered various bilateral scenarios for increasing the trading cooperation with different nations in which Pakistan emerged became one of the important states signing multileveled economic collaboration with Baku. The initial agreement establishing political coordination between Baku and Islamabad came into being in 1993, and the two-sided diplomatic communities started working together on basis of shared interests and common ideological values. The economy and trade became the foundational steps between the inter-governmental communications of both states, and convinced their respective leaders on the significance of bilateral economic cooperation (Makgetlaneng, 2016). The inclusion of Pakistan in the list of countries with active economic ties with Azerbaijan resulted from Heydar Aliyev’s vision for diversifying the economic strength of his county. 

The quest to attract foreign investments, and desires to increase the country’s revenue by improving and restructuring the foreign relations of Baku with the outside world, has led Azerbaijan to deepen the trading ties with Pakistan with the support of common ideological basis. In this way, there is no harm in saying that the cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan was initiated in 1993 when the Azerbaijani nation was in an improving phase under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev (Cornell, 2015). The arrival of globalization in the international system added another chapter in the history of ongoing economic cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan because the mainstream political authorities from Baku and Islamabad accepted that the forces of globalization have opened up new trading opportunities and business platforms for the two-sided governments. The era of globalization began multiplying the trading potentials of both nations in the world, equivalent to providing the chances for improving their relationship further in several unexplored areas. 

Pakistan-Azerbaijan Cooperative Bilateralism

The genesis of cooperative bilateralism between Baku and Islamabad can be traced in the era of globalization when the governments of both states decided to take their relationship to the next level with the belief that the forces of a globalized world have brought together the states and societies located at diverse regions. The shared vision of both Muslim countries accepted the need for attracting international investments on a massive scale for upgrading their economic inflows. With the support of their common Islamic ideology and shared Muslim culture, the government authorities from Baku and Islamabad recognized the values of globalization in shaping their collaborative bilateral relation while focusing on expanding their economic cooperation and advancing their cross-cultural ties in the era of globalization. The two-sided formal leaders have already described their positions on various occasions for broadening their common areas of trade and investment with the help of global economic interconnectedness. 

The shared vision of Pakistan-Azerbaijan’s leadership is mainly evolved in the last three decades and resulted in close bonds of national identity and common brotherhood cemented in shared religious backgrounds. The friendly ties at the governmental level are the byproduct of the pleasant diplomatic functions of both states, which has created strong support for each other in the territorial issues of their respective regions. Baku’s support of the Kashmir issue and Islamabad’s support of the former Karabakh conflict proved to be the foundations of the Pakistan-Azerbaijan friendship and its multileveled growth in diverse directions (Nawab, 2023). A smooth growth of cross-cultural ties between two nations has developed bilateral connections in the education sector, and a brief layer of student-exchange programs has emerged at the societal level. Presently, the position of China must be more recognized due to the decisions of the Pakistani and Azerbaijani governments for supporting Beijing’s plan to create a global trading network (Haider, 2017).. While recognizing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the potential global platform for improving their domestic economic infrastructures and connecting their indigenous industries with the global markets, Baku and Islamabad have connected the South Caucasus and South Asian regions to the BRI. Under the BRI’s framework, Pakistan’s position in the global economic markets has been extended due to the signing of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) (Ghumman, 2023). Moreover, Azerbaijan also has concrete plans to contribute to the BRI positively by creating a connection between Central Asian and Caucasian regions under Beijing’s global trading planning.     

Scope of Cooperation in the Post-Globalized World 

The existing patterns of bilateral cooperation between Baku and Islamabad are difficult to separate from the challenges of the emerging post-globalized world in which the concepts and values of globalization have started losing their relevance to international politics. The emergence of the post-globalization international system in which the great powers have developed contesting geo-economic interests and the politics of trade routes, supply lines, and sea ports has persistently started becoming the prevalent trend in the international system. The growing economic inconsistencies in the post-corona world have augmented the issues of the post-globalized world, and the emerging challenge of global governance has encircled the whole international system. 

This scenario is constantly underestimating the forces of globalization in the world and persistently forcing the state governments to defend their geo-economic interest instead of emphasizing the integrating economic values of globalization. In other words, the contemporary scholarly discussions on the evolving nature of the international system have initiated the debates of a post-globalized world where the challenges to the conception of globalization have started appearing from different regions. The emergence of a post-globalized international system has attracted academic communities from around the globe and affected the interstate trading collaborations of states. Under these circumstances, a multileveled economic collaboration between Baku and Islamabad cannot be protected from the inevitable rise of several post-globalized values in the world. Therefore, the governments of Pakistan and Azerbaijan are required to deepen their ongoing trading collaboration by adopting a pragmatic approach for expanding their societal cooperation. The improvement in people-to-people contacts could provide viable options for overcoming the rising challenges of post-globalization because an increased social interaction between Pakistani and Azerbaijani nations could let the societies of both states to support the vision of foreign direct investment in both states. The only barrier in people-to-people contact is the language which is seeking the serious attention of twosided policymakers. 


The modern history of Baku’s foreign relations can only be completed by studying the significant role of Heydar Aliyev’s government in the making Azerbaijan economically a progressing state, which has given several new directions to the foreign policy of Azerbaijan, parallel to bringing major developments in several economic affairs (Sadri, 2003). The combination of both attributes of the Azerbaijani nation secured a dynamic role and progressive status in the oil and gas industry. For the diversification of its foreign relations and economy, the leading state authorities from Baku have explored the potential of different nations beyond its domestic region (Diuk, 2012). Pakistan emerged as one of the leading trading nations from the South Asian region, which has been accepted by mainstream Azerbaijani state authorities as a reliable trading partner and a valuable diplomatic friend. In this way, the governments of both states are required to increase the existing levels of their trading connections. The increasing trading connections between both states will make their governments secure the advantageous positions in their regional and extra-regional affairs. 

In this regard, the future plans of both states for the growth of their bilateral cooperation cannot be overlooked because the exploration of untapped potential of each other in diverse areas could let the Pakistani and Azerbaijani governments achieve their desired economic targets. The future areas could be the energy, textiles, and pharmaceuticals for Pakistan whereas the agriculture and textiles fields of Pakistan could be beneficial for Azerbaijan. The increasing connection in the trading and investment domains will positively impact the political coordination of both states at the governmental level. Thus, the political collaboration between two-sided governments will enable their leaders to support each other on various issues of regional and international significances. In this way, broader economic collaboration, greater political support, and an enhanced framework of cultural exchange could help Baku and Islamabad deepen their multidimensional partnership in various areas. Such partnership will not only be beneficial for Pakistani and Azerbaijani people, but it will also produce certain positive outcomes for the wider regional politics of Caucasian and South Asian regions. In other words, the bilateral relations between both states are intended to grow and are expected to become a substantial factor in positively impacting their respective regions, and carrying same implication for the world beyond their regions. The leading decision-making circles of both states are strong-minded in seeking to leverage the benefits of a globalized world while overcoming the probable future scenario postglobalized world. 

how can we help you?

Contact us at the Consulting WP office nearest to you or submit a business inquiry online.

Consulting theme is an invaluable partner. Our teams have collaborated to support the growing field of practitioners using collective impact.

Donald Simpson
Chairman, Bluewater Corp