Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
Without economic independence, our political independence will not be full-scale, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said at the 48th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank in Baku May 4.
He further said that energy security, economic independence and relying on own sources - is the driving force of Azerbaijan's development.
"Had Azerbaijan gained its independence not in 1991, but, say, in 1971, today we probably would've been one of the richest countries in the world," he said. "This is the reality, but we're trying to catch up. We're trying to compensate for what we've lost when we were not free and independent."
He also said that Azerbaijan is trying to take advantage of other tools at hand, such as the country's location.
"Today Azerbaijan is becoming a transportation hub," the president said. "We've invested largely in transportation infrastructure, and now we're building the biggest sea port in the Caspian of 25 million tons capacity."
He further said that Azerbaijan built seven airports on its soil, five of which are international.
President Aliyev also touched upon the rail road that would connect Europe and Asia.
"The construction of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey rail road is soon to be completed," he said. "This road will cross Azerbaijan and will be the most convenient road for transportation."
"It will increase our geopolitical importance and investments," he said.