The author of the successful development strategy
Q: National leader Heydar Aliyev`s anniversary is now solemnly celebrated in all parts of the country. We would like you to compare Azerbaijan of the past and the present.
A: Of course, national leader Heydar Aliyev played an invaluable role in our centuries-long statehood history. His years in power – 1969-1989 – saw the strengthening of national spirit and national statehood idea.
“Economic independence is the essence of a nation`s political independence,” national leader Heydar Aliyev said. He placed a particular importance on the country`s economic development during his both tenures as Azerbaijan`s leader.
Thanks to national leader Heydar Aliyev`s rational and pragmatic activity Azerbaijan achieved rapid economic development in a short period of time.
We can say with confidence that thanks to efforts of the national leader the years 1970-1980 marked radical socio-economic reforms in Azerbaijan, and the country, which was on the verge of collapse, overcame all difficulties.
The national leader-founded policy, state and values continue serving the people of Azerbaijan today. On the one hand, this reflects the Azerbaijani people`s love and respect towards the national leader and his policy, and on the other, this comes from the fact that these Heydar Aliyev`s principles and ideas are advantageous for Azerbaijan, and serve the interests of its people.
In this context, I would like to praise the national leader`s oil strategy, which today forms the fundament of Azerbaijan`s economy. And the society is today benefiting from the oil strategy. The oil strategy also helps us carry out important social reforms, improve the living standard, and completely change the look of our country.
The oil strategy allowed Azerbaijan become a regional leader and strengthen its international positions.
Q: How would you comment on Azerbaijan`s development in the last decade?
A: The policy of national leader Heydar Aliyev has today become more creative, more flexible, it is being realized more rapidly. And it is the Azerbaijani people`s position and confidence that ensures the successful continuation of this policy. Azerbaijan will make further achievements in all spheres of life. Azerbaijan is today set as a model not only on the regional but also on the global scale.
Socially-oriented economic policy and flexible reforms carried out by president Ilham Aliyev has laid the foundations of successful implementation of the social state model in Azerbaijan. As a result social security system in Azerbaijan was remodeled on the basis of international standards.
President Ilham Aliyev has remained committed to continuing the policy of national leader Heydar Aliyev.
In the basis of the Decree of the Head of the State "Azerbaijan 2020: future vision" The Concept of Development was developed with the participation of relevant government agencies, research organizations and highly qualified specialists, as well as in cooperation with international organizations operating in the country.
This concept is a document defining the main directions of the development for the next eight years and goals set forth. The document launches a new phase of development of the country and the main purpose is to be included in the list of the world's most developed countries in all indicators. As a result of the implementation of this concept in 2020 Azerbaijan will be politically and economically advanced and competitive country.
Q: What can you say of the role of the state regional development programs?
A: Over the last 10 years Azerbaijan has developed most rapidly in the world, and huge work has been carried out under two state programs fo the development of the country`s regions (2004-2008 and 2009-2013). The economy has grown 3.4 times. No other country has achieved such growth in the last 10 years. As a result of the implementation of two programs, industrial production has grown 2.7 times. Whereas in the first years of the program our economy and industry grew largely on the account of the oil sector, the successful development of our country in recent years has been provided by the non-oil sector.
All infrastructure projects in the regions are almost completed. The first two State Programs were meant to ensure improvement of electricity, water and gas supply in the regions. I think that the third Program, which will cover the years 2014-2018, will see the building of new roads in regions and villages, the creation of new jobs, the improvement of entrepreneurship, the development of processing industry and agriculture.
The execution of the third State Program will serve to improve the population`s living standard
In his opening speech at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socioeconomic development in the first quarter of 2014 and objectives for the future, President Ilham Aliyev said: “Azerbaijan has managed to preserve the dynamic pace of development. Our country is moving forward successfully in all areas. The economy grew by 2.5 per cent. I believe that this is a good indicator. The structure of our gross domestic product is also improving. Of course, the main indicator reflecting our economic development in recent years has been the performance of the non-oil sector. As was the case last year, we have managed to achieve rapid development in this area this year too.”
“Last year, our non-oil sector grew by 10 per cent, while in the first quarter of this year by a further 8.8 per cent. Of course, this growth is a result of the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan in recent years. The policies conducted in the field of economy have brought about the present realities.”
“Agricultural growth constitutes slightly more than 3 per cent. This, too, can be seen as a positive development. I am confident that as a result of additional measures that will be taken in the coming years we will see even more impressive figures in this sphere.
Our foreign exchange reserves are growing. They have increased significantly in the first quarter. At the moment our foreign exchange reserves constitute $53 billion. This is a very large figure. If we consider the population of our country, we can see that in terms of this indicator – exchange reserves per capita – Azerbaijan is among leading countries of the world. Most importantly, despite the implementation of major investment programs, our foreign exchange reserves are not reducing but growing by the year. This is also our policy. I have repeatedly stated that we certainly need to use our financial resources for the development of our economy, entrepreneurship and infrastructure projects, but at the same time our foreign exchange reserves should continue to grow every year.”