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The World Bank’s optimism about Azerbaijan’s economy

The World Bank’s optimism about Azerbaijan’s economy
According to economists, the economic forecasts for our country are based on concrete calculations

Annual growth is observed in the economy due to economic reforms carried out by the government of Azerbaijan. The measures to reduce dependence of economy on oil have rejuvenated the non-oil industry. The economic reforms are, no doubt, being watched by many financial bodies including the international organizations and certain predictions are made. According to the 2016 report by the World Bank entitled, "Global economic perspectives”, economic recession, albeit a weak one, was noted in Azerbaijan in 2017, relative to 2016. Falling oil prices in global markets from 2014 to 2016 have affected the country’s economy and caused problems in the banking sector. Nonetheless, there has been growth in the oil sector and the volume of investments is rising.



The authors of the report forecast that the GDP of Azerbaijan would rise 0.9% in 2018. In their previous reports, the World Bank substantiated this predictions by referring to launching of "Shahdeniz-2”. The GDP is expected to rise by 1.5% in 2019. It’s also noted that the economic growth will be 2.6% in Azerbaijan in 2020.



Deputy and economist Tahir Mirkishili talked to "Kaspi” and said the World Bank had updated its predictions: "In mid-2017, the World Bank predicted that Azerbaijani economy would grow 0.6% in 2018. But the international body has updated its figures and now predicts that the growth would be around 0.9%. But I should note that, many international organizations had announced their predictions before the World Bank. As we know, "Standart and Poors” agency and the UN have predicted 2% and 1.9% growth in Azerbaijani economy, respectively. At the same time, the Azerbaijani government has predicted that the GDP of the country would rise 1.5% in 2018 and it has been reflected in the state budget”.



Mirkishili added that the predictions made about Azerbaijani economy are based on concrete calculations: "And they are linked with the fact that 70% of the GDP will be made up by the non-oil sector in 2018 and the expected widening between export and import, as well as the increasing volume of foreign trade turnover. Moreover, the launch of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, as well as the expected results of the economic reforms carried out in 2017 allow us to say that the predictions of the international organizations as well as the Azerbaijani government reflect the reality”.





Economist expert Rashad Hasanov said that international financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, often change their forecasts: "These forecasts may appear relevant in the short run. But in the medium to long term, these forecasts do not always fit. For example, in the global report prepared by the World Bank last year, it was announced that the economic growth in Azerbaijan will be 0.6% in 2018. But three months later this international organization upgraded the current forecast by 0.9 percent. That is, the prediction of the actual processes does not necessarily mean that it will. Forecasts related to the Azerbaijani economy's growth are correct. The main issue is that today all global financial institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, forecast economic development in Azerbaijan in 2018. That is, the main trend should be evaluated. Figures, I think, will change several times a year. The additional opportunities that the strategic roadmap implementation process will generate in the overall domestic product, as well as the possible revival of the Azerbaijani economy in connection with the launch of the Shahdeniz-2 project as mentioned in the World Bank's latest report, will create additional value in the transit sector of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway on the other hand, the revitalization of the construction sector by doubling the state budget's infrastructure costs will enable the positive dynamics of economic dynamics in 2018. "


According to Hasanov, 2017 can be considered a year of stabilization for the Azerbaijani economy: "That is, inflation has been quite high due to a number of macroeconomic indicators. We have observed some stabilization in the exchange rate of manat. And in 2018, I think the GDP will grow. By the way, it should be noted that the Azerbaijani government predicts economic growth for 2018. Economic growth in non-oil sector is expected to be 2.9 percent. Against the backdrop of the decline in oil production, the decline will be observed. Nevertheless, the growth of non-oil economy by 2.9 per cent would lead to a 1.5 per cent increase in the overall economic growth in the country. At present, one issue reflects the fact that the Azerbaijani economy will grow in 2018. But it's hard to say what the specific indicators are. "


Bakhtiyar Mammadli




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