Baku, Azerbaijan, May 15
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Investors, foreign and local, enjoy full protection of their rights and interests, as well as equal opportunities in Azerbaijan, the country's Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev said in an interview with "The Business Year" magazine.
"Today, Azerbaijan is recognized as an investor country, having pursued business in a number of European countries, in addition to other neighboring states," Mustafayev added.
Mustafayev stressed that as a result of the dynamic development of Azerbaijan, international organizations, multinational corporations and investors are showing considerable interest towards the country.
"One of the key factors in assessing the attractiveness of the country, of course, is its favorable business and investment climate," he said.
"Record investment ($28 billion) was made in the economy of Azerbaijan last year," Mustafayev said.
The total inflow of investments to date amounts to $172 billion, with around half being accounted for by FDI (foreign direct investments).
Mustafayev highlighted that dynamic development continued in all sectors of the economy in Azerbaijan and the growth of GDP was mainly due to the non-oil sector, the growth of which reached 5.8% in 2013.
"In the last 10 years, Azerbaijan's non-oil sector has increased by 2.6 times, non-oil industry - by 1.9 times, while investments in the non-oil sector - by 15.2 times," Mustafayev added.
"Over the past decade, GDP has grown 3.2 times, revenues of the state budget 16 times, industrial output 2.7 times, and fixed capital investments 4.7 times," the minister said.
"During this period, the average annual economic growth has been 12.9 percent, making Azerbaijan one of the best performing economies in the world," he added.
Mustafayev added that the income of the population has increased by 6.5 times over the same period, while the average monthly wage rose 5.5 times. He also noted that over 1.2 million new jobs were created, the unemployment rate was reduced to 5 percent, and poverty rate was reduced to 5.3 percent.
"The foreign trade turnover has increased 6.6 fold; 9.3 fold in exports and 4.1 fold in imports," he said, adding that non-oil exports also grew by 4.7 times.
Now, Azerbaijan is conducting trade operations with almost 150 countries," he stressed.
Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency