Baku, Azerbaijan, March 27
By Abbas Akhundov - Trend:
Azerbaijan's external position remained strong, supported by the sound reserve standing and low level of public debt that significantly mitigated the risks of the volatility of oil prices in 2013, according to the EU report on Azerbaijan's progress within the European Neighborhood Policy.
"However, the non-oil current account deficit of 17.4 percent of GDP remained large, due to government-related non-oil imports and gas-related
Foreign Direct Investment," the report read. "Azerbaijan continues to rely on hydrocarbon sales to finance state expenditure, as transfers from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) accounted for 58.43 percent of total revenue in 2013, leading to a budget surplus of 0.47 percent of GDP."
The budget shows a deficit of 19.1 percent of GDP when SOFAZ transfers are excluded, according to the report.
In December last year, Azerbaijani government raised retail prices for various fuel products by between 25 percent and 33 percent, and at the same time, tariffs for various telecommunication services were reduced, the report read.