Quality roads increase economic growth

Quality roads increase economic growth

Economy
07 November 2019, 13:18 485
Road infrastructure is the main "blood vessel system” of a country's economy, says expert
 
Azerbaijan ranked 27th among 141 countries in the sub-category "Quality of Road Infrastructure” in the Global Competitiveness Index report by the World Economic Forum. Thus, Azerbaijan left behind Turkey, which ranked 31st, the UK, which ranked 36th, Lithuania (39th), Italy (53rd) and several other European countries. Singapore ranked first in terms of the quality of road infrastructure.
 
Azerbaijan’s head of state pays close attention to the country’s road infrastructure. Last month, President Ilham Aliyev viewed the renovation work carried out on the section of Shafayat Mehdiyev Street from Tbilisi Avenue to Landau Street in Yasamal district, Baku.
 
The president noted that all streets of Baku must meet the highest standards: "So make a list of all problem places so that we could renovate them both this year and next year. In addition, I gave you instructions on the improvement of intra-settlement roads, roads in the suburban settlements of Baku. You have submitted preliminary proposals, they will be considered, relevant instructions will be issued, and investments will be allocated so that we will improve all roads in the suburban settlements of Baku. Ground roads must be paved. In the city of Baku, including its suburban settlements, there should be no ground roads left.”
 
The head of state also gave an order to Chairman of the Board of Directors of Azerbaijan Highway State Agency Saleh Mammadov regarding the traffic jams on the Baku-Sumgait road: "Despite the fact that trains operate today and some people use them, there are still traffic jams. So look into this, there should be a technical capacity to expand this road. Prepare a project.”
 
Today, the process of reconstruction of road infrastructure is accelerated in Azerbaijan. Even the remote mountain villages have roads paved with asphalt. Azerbaijan ranking 27th in "Quality of Road Infrastructure” in the Global Competitiveness Index Report is of great importance. How important is the high level of road infrastructure in economic development?
 
According to economist Parviz Heydarov, one of the most important issues in the development of every country’s economy is road infrastructure. "Without the development of this area and the creation of appropriate conditions, no country can talk about the development of the economy. That is, economic development begins from road infrastructure.  First of all, road infrastructure is most important in a country's economy before issues, such as electricity, water, gas supply, etc. Therefore, the Azerbaijani state has invested much of its oil revenues in this area. The state's policy is to develop the country's economy, improve the living conditions of the population, eliminate unemployment, and achieve economic growth. Therefore, the government is primarily focused on improving infrastructure by the expansion of roads, renovation of old roads and construction of new ones before creating factories and plants. As a result, over 15,000 km of roads have been built in the country over the past 15 years,” he said.  
 
The expert noted that Azerbaijan is in first place among the CIS countries for its quality of roads. "This figure is a very serious indicator, which means that about 1,000 km of roads have been built in one year. According to a recent report of the Azerbaijan Highway State Agency, over 1,000 km of roads were constructed this year. Every year, as a result of the large sums of money allocated for road construction within the investment program and implementation of these funds, we have risen from 34th to 27th in road quality in the report of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and as of last year we are in first place among CIS countries. This is because there is no other country in the region that spends as much money as Azerbaijan on road infrastructure development. The head of state has said that work should be continued in this direction,” he added.

"The construction of highways leading to foreign countries is completed,” said Heydarov, stressing that the main issue now is the pavement of roads in rural areas. "Although Turkey gained independence before us and has sufficient economic development, there are no such conditions there. So, this is a great job for a country that has not yet celebrated its 30th anniversary of independence. The head of the state pays close attention to this issue. We will have paved roads even in the most remote villages of Azerbaijan by 10 years. The aim is to contribute to economic development and to stimulate development because highways are the main "blood vessel system” of a country's economy,” he noted.
 
The spokesperson for Azerbaijan Highway State Agency Anar Najafli said that the quality of roads has a positive impact on the development of tourism and agriculture. "It’s a good indication that we ranked 27th in the mentioned report. The condition of the roads, though not directly, affects the economy or industry. That is the poorer quality of roads, the more negative impact it has on the economy. However, in recent years, the roads are being reconstructed and the volume of cargoes is increasing. As a result, revenues from freight are also expanding. Improving road quality in rural and suburban areas has an impact on the development of agriculture and tourism. For example, it allows people to quickly and efficiently market their products and facilitates tourists' visits to the regions. I think the quality improvement will be continued in the next phase,” he said.

Gunel Azade