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Real picture of our economic development

Real picture of our economic development

Economy
29 January 2016, 14:56 815
Oil strategy founded by the national leader Heydar Aliyev and president Ilham Aliyev's idea of transforming "black gold" into human capital led to development of all our regions, as well as capital Baku, improvement of social welfare and economic growth as a whole. Azerbaijan has entered a qualitatively new phase in terms of socio-economic development; the non oil sector has grown, new jobs are created, the scope and quality of provision of public utilities and social infrastructure has increased in the regions, business environment has improved, investments in the economy has grown, employment levels have risen and poverty has decreased. 

Naturally, the regional development programs, brought to life by decrees and orders issued by the president, played a big role in achieving this success. Regarded as historic event and historic achievement, "State Program for socio-economic development of regions" which lasted from 2004 to 2008, brought about rapid development and completely changed the socio-economic landscape of the regions. But as the life does not stand still and new missions and problems arise and their solution demands a better approach, the second program, covering the period 2009 and 2013,  was adopted. During 10 years that both programs were implemented, GDP, the non-oil sector, industry, agriculture, investments, population's income, the average monthly salaries grew 3.2, 2.6, 2.7, 1.5, 6.5, 6.5, 5.5 times respectively. Due to targeted measures taken during this time, 1.2 million jobs (900 thousand of them permanent), 55.6 business enterprises were created, unemployment and poverty rates dropped to 5% and 5.3% respectively. 

Economy grows more than 3 times

As large scale work done as part of the state program creates a basis for development of regions in later years, president Ilham Aliyev approved the third regional development program on 27 February, 2014. The statistics cited by both the president and entrepreneurs at the meeting dedicated to the outcomes of second year implementation of the program that covers the period 2014-2018, painted the real picture of our economic development in the last 12 years. During this time, Azerbaijani economy grew more than 3 times and the weight of the non oil sector in the economy reached 70%. The support for creating modern businesses in the non oil industry, launching industrial parks and neighborhoods continued, 270 industrial enterprises including technical equipments, large transformers, metal constructions, concrete products plants, textile factories and other places were opened, the construction of several important industrial facilities started. Steps were taken to establish industrial park in Sumgait, Baku, Mingechevir and Garadagh as well as industrial neighborhoods in regions. 

A million and five hundred jobs

As a result of these programs, in the recent years unemployment rates dropped to 5%, salaries and pensions increased by 5 and 7 times respectively. In general, in the last 12 years a million and 5 hundred jobs were created and about a million of them are permanent jobs. Additionally, in accordance with the state program, 89 IDP settlements were built, 225 people were moved to new apartments and tent camps all over the country were abolished. As part of the program, three schools, hundreds of health care facilities were built or repaired. Sports infrastructure of Azerbaijan was also adjusted to modern standards, additional international sports facilities, close to 50 Olympic stadiums were built. Azerbaijan become a cosmic state by launching two rockets into the space. 

200 billion dollar foreign investment 

Domestic and foreign investments naturally play a vital role in opening of new businesses and creation of jobs. In the last 12 years, $200 billion were invested in Azerbaijan, $100 billion of which is foreign investment. In order to encourage entrepreneurship, more than 1.7 billion soft loans were granted to many business owners. These measures resulted in creation of more than 70 thousand businesses in Azerbaijan. Regional development also increased tourist potential of the country, world class recreational centers, 300 hotels  were built and some of world famous hotel brands were brought to Azerbaijan. 

An important transit country

As a result of the economic development of the last 12 years, important projects were carried out in transportation sector too. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, Iran and Azerbaijan Astara railways projects are about to finish and restoration of historic "Silk Road" project is supported. At the same time, 6 new airport and a massive commercial port was opened, more than 12 thousand kilometers of roads were built. The implementation of such projects made Azerbaijan famous in the world as a transit country. As for the projects in energy sector, Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines were constructed. The opening of these pipelines generated a lot of profit for our economy. During the implementation of the state program, 90% of the country were supplied with gas, many remote towns were provided with natural gas. Construction of 25 electric stations, which brought the total number of electric stations to 35, was a significant progress. 

Great hope for future, sustainable development

All these statistics allows us to confidently say that, the implementation of the third state program in Azerbaijan will boost the sustainable development of the non-oil sector, improving the quality of provision of public utilities and social infrastructure in the regions, improving the business environment, increasing investments, creation of more jobs and thus raising the employment levels and decreasing poverty. 

Rufik ISMAYILOV