Baku, Azerbaijan, May 3
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Azerbaijan has achieved very good results in poverty reduction, the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao said.
A poverty level is five percent in Azerbaijan, while in 2001 this figure was 49 percent.
"The education level of the adult population is almost one hundred percent in Azerbaijan," Nakao said. "The maternal mortality is one of the lowest among the ADB member-states."
Nakao made this statement at a press-conference as part of the 48th meeting of the ADB Board of Governors in Baku.
He also stressed the issue of oil price fall.
"This creates difficulties for many countries in the world," he said. "To reduce the influence Azerbaijan is making efforts to diversify the economy and to reduce its dependence on oil."
At the same time, Nakao said that Azerbaijan's GDP is by only five percent dependent on agriculture, whereas about 40 percent of the population is involved in this area.
"I believe that the agricultural development must be one of the priorities for the country," he said. "The need for the development of tourism, given the beauty of the region and the fact that Azerbaijan combines the cultures of Asia, the Turkic world, and others, should be mentioned."
He also said that this requires the development of infrastructure.
"ADB supports infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan," he said. "As a result, great progress was achieved."
Nakao also said that this is the ADB first meeting of such a high level in the South Caucasus and it is a bridge between East and West.
The ADB was established in 1966, it has 67 members. Its headquarters is located in the capital of the Philippines - Manila.
Azerbaijan joined the ADB on Dec. 22, 1999, the country's share in the bank's capital is 0.5 percent.
ADB's leading shareholders are Japan and the US (31.2 percent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent), etc.
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