BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 21
Sustainable economic development is the main goal of Azerbaijan and the forecast economic growth rate at the level of 1.9 percent in 2021 allows expect the continued positive economic policy, member of the parliament Sevil Mikayilova said, Trend reports.
Mikayilova noted that the decline by 4.3 percent in the world economy in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 negatively affected national economies. However, amid these economic troubles, Azerbaijan's economy has shown high stability owing to the thoughtful policy of President Ilham Aliyev.
"It’s no coincidence that the World Bank's Doing Business report upgraded rating of Azerbaijan, ranking it 28th out of 190 countries and including in the top 10 most reformist countries," she noted. "Although Azerbaijan's economy shrank by just over 4 percent last year, the non-oil industry grew by 11 percent. At the same time, agricultural production, average monthly wages, and pensions also showed an increase. The State Oil Fund's grown resources have allowed Azerbaijan to maintain its foreign exchange reserves."
"It’s gratifying that as of January 1, 2021, Azerbaijan's foreign exchange reserves amounted to $6.37 billion, thus rising by 1.8 percent compared to early 2020," she added.
Mikayilova noted that Azerbaijan’s economy is optimistic about 2021. So, the reintegration of the liberated (during the 44-day war from late September through early November 2020 from the Armenian occupation) territories into the economy will significantly contribute to its development.
"The 2021 state budget envisages 2.2 billion manat ($1.3 billion) for the reintegration. Investing in the liberated territories will trigger economic development and improve the welfare of the nation," she said. "According to the World Bank, the global economy is expected to grow by 4 percent in 2021 with the mass introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine during the year. The bank's experts predict that the Azerbaijani economy will recover at a high pace, and GDP will grow by 4.5 percent in 2022."
"In general, economic growth in the South Caucasus region is expected at 2.5 percent against the background of declining the pandemic and conflict problems, increasing tourism activity, as well as restoring consumer and entrepreneurial confidence," she added.
"The delivery of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, the full operation of main transport lines, maintaining the profit trend in export-import operations and expected direct investment in the liberated territories thanks to commissioning of the TAP project, the last segment of the Southern Gas Corridor, at the end of last year will create a rational basis for positive outlooks on the economy," Mikayilova said.