Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25
By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:
Lowering oil prices and the subsequent devaluation of the manat in the long-term are useful for the economy of Azerbaijan, head of the EBRD's Baku office Neil McKain told Trend.
He said that the economic situation in Azerbaijan is stable. "Of course, the decline in oil prices and the devaluation of the manat came as a shock for the economy, but I believe that Azerbaijan will survive this situation, as the country has substantial foreign exchange reserves," said McKain. "I think that in the long term, this situation is even useful to the economy, as local manufacturers will be able to easily compete with the imported products and at the same time export their own products. So, one needs to see not only disadvantages but also advantages of devaluation."
He also said that the unstable situation in the world economy mainly affected the financial operations of the bank in Russia. "In general, the unstable economic situation in the world didn't have much impact on financial operations in the region," said McKain. "One can say that it highly affected only our operations in Russia, as due to European sanctions, we cannot implement new projects in Russia, and it is quite a big market for us."
He said that in this regard, the EBRD seeks to expand its activities in the region. "Today, because of the situation with Russia, we are looking for opportunities to expand our activities in other countries of the region, including Azerbaijan," said McKain. "Last year, we have implemented 21 projects in Azerbaijan and we are going to increase the number of projects."
EBRD has allocated $2.5 billion to finance 146 projects in various sectors of the economy since the beginning of cooperation with Azerbaijan. One of the EBRD main tasks is to ensure the stable development of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector by investing in small and medium private enterprises.
Azerbaijan is the largest recipient of the EBRD funds in the Caucasus, as well as one of the largest recipients - in the CIS and Eastern Europe. The EBRD invested 238 million euros in the implementation of 21 projects in Azerbaijan in 2014.
Edited by CN
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