Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 3 / Trend, E. Aliyev /
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has gained rich experience in the rational governance of a large amount of funds received from the extraction, processing and sale of oil and gas. It is ready to share it with its foreign counterparts, SOFAZ Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov said at the second forum "South Caucasus in a Changing World" of the Association of Scientists for Foreign Relations in Baku today, which is organized by the Centre for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President.
The spending of SOFAZ's funds are annually approved by the Azerbaijani Parliament and the Presidential Administration.
"We are funding large-scale infrastructure projects in the country," he added. "The construction of temporary settlements for refugees and IDPs, who previously lived in very poor conditions, is being financed through SOFAZ's funds. We were able to provide more than 150,000 people with decent housing."
According to him, SOFAZ's most important investments are those that are directed to turn the oil capital into human.
"Every year, we allocate a certain amount of money to finance the education of Azerbaijani citizens abroad through the state line," he added. "Every year many Azerbaijani students are able to study in the world's best universities through these funds. The only requirement is to return home after graduation and to work in Azerbaijan for five years."
According to him, these and other examples show the success of the idea of the SOFAZ establishment.
"SOFAZ has implemented a number of important infrastructure and social projects for the years of its activity," Movsumov added.
The State Oil Fund was established in 1999, and its assets at that time amounted to $271 million.
SOFAZ's assets reached $34.129.4 billion as of 2012.
The main goals of the State Oil Fund include: accumulation of resources and the placement of the fund's assets abroad in order to minimize the negative affect on economy, the prevention of "Dutch disease" to some extent, promotion of resource accumulation for future generations and support of current social and economic processes in Azerbaijan.