Azerbaijan, Baku, May 7 / Trend S. Aliyev /
The Azerbaijani government managed to wisely use the revenues from energy sector and avoid some complications that some oil-producing countries had, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said during the first South Caucasus Forum in Baku today.
"A very important mechanism of asset management was created, like the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, which is considered to be one of the most transparent funds among all the independent funds of the world," he said.
The President noted that Azerbaijan managed to avoid the situation where rich people are becoming richer, and the poor are becoming even poorer.
"The reduction of poverty and unemployment was the main target of the government," Ilham Aliyev said.
"Fair distribution of wealth, investments in infrastructure, investments in human capital, primarily in education, remains the government's target because the education is the core of success," he said.
"The countries which achieved success, their history and experience show that it did not occur because of their natural resources, but because of intellectual potential," he said. "And in the coming years, the intellectual potential will play an even more important role in the resolution of all the issues of Azerbaijan's economic development and political development."
The Head of Azerbaijani State said that the role of the countries on the global map will be even more dependant on the intellectual potential of the people.
"We invest a lot in human capital, and 10 years ago we declared that we need to transform the black gold into human gold, the human capital," he said. "The diversification of economy, implementation of social projects, infrastructure projects, and the changes which we see in Azerbaijan, show that the country has good experience of transition from totalitarian to democratic society, from the planned economy to market economy, where we did not create complications for ordinary people, because radical reforms are usually marked with some problems for ordinary people."
The President added that a very efficient social policy is being implemented in the country, and today Azerbaijan is a country which is completely self-sufficient, with strong financial potential.
"Azerbaijan did not suffer from the consequences of the world crisis due to this policy. The diversified transportation roots, modern infrastructure, and of course the oil factor will play their role in the future, and will us help to develop even more," he said, adding that the energy resources of Azerbaijan play an even more important role in regional cooperation.
"Azerbaijan was, by the way, the first country in the world, where oil has started to be produced and the first county which attracted foreign companies and investments to the Caspian Sea, and actually opened the Caspian Sea for international petroleum operations," the President said. "The first pipelines from Caspian Sea were built by Azerbaijan together with our partners."
"The oil and gas pipelines stretching through Georgia and Turkey actually fully changed the energy map not only of Sothern Caucasus, but also of the region," he said.
"Today we are working actively with our friends and partners on energy security, especially with European institutions, and of course with our neighbors to be able to realize our huge energy potential, which can last for more than 100 years," the president said.
"The recently launched Trans Anatolian Pipeline project is a real reform in the energy sector, and the project will allow exporting so much gas that it would allow the consumers to have diversified sources of supply," he added.
"Therefore the diversification for producers and consumers is one of the prerequisite of the success," he said. "We also established a very fruitful, regional cooperation format, where we try to balance the interests of producers, transit countries and consumers.
Azerbaijani President said that the country tries to avoid unnecessary rivalry, and its energy policy is not based on rivalry.
"Our energy policy is based on cooperation and on win-win situations. And I think that the history of last decade clearly shows that this approach is very efficient," Ilham Aliyev underscored.