Last week, under the chairmanship of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the traditional conference of the Cabinet of Ministers, dedicated to the social and economic development of State as a result of the first half-year, was held. The conference focused on the results of the social and economic development over the past six months of this year, and the analysis of the state obligations faced State was carried out.
As economic result, there was noted the fact that over the last six months of the current year, the increase in the GDP was 16.5%. Approximately 14% of this fell on the industrial products and 10% - agricultural production. The incomes of the population grew by 32%. The capital investments in the economy of the country totaled nearly $4.4bln, with $3.1bln internal investments. The currency reserves of Azerbaijan increased up to $13bln.
This was estimated by the President as good results, as the index of today's dynamic development of Azerbaijan and the consequence of the successful realization of oil policy. The President touched upon the forthcoming tasks as well. Priority tasks were determined for the next six months. First of all, the President gave tasks to continue efficient measures to prevent inflation, take serious measures to protect population and State from the inflation. In the recent six months, the inflation was 20%. Despite the fact that the incomes of the population are higher than inflation, it can not but disturb, and measures must be taken to prevent this.
At the conference was noted that the development program of regions, development of infrastructure, social projects, gasification of regions, water supply, construction of schools and hospitals will be continued. In addition, the migratory policy of Azerbaijan must be intensified. There must be carried out serious work on stay and activity of foreigners, who arrived in Azerbaijan for the earnings in recent years.
Later the President touched upon security issues. It was noted that the energy safety of Azerbaijan has been ensured. The questions of transportation and sale of the energy resources of Azerbaijan to the foreign markets were decided. Transport safety has also been almost ensured. Especially the deployment of the railway of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars ensures transport safety of Azerbaijan. Forces should be strengthened with regards to information, food and ecological safety of Azerbaijan.
The President imposed serious tasks in connection with these questions. Mainly, in connection with the food safety, the investment programs must be continued, directed toward the development of agriculture. Later, the foreign and internal investment policy of State must be activated. The President made tasks to appropriate structures regarding directions of both domestic and external investment policy of Azerbaijan, spheres, into which investments must be put, control on these investments, incomes which must flow to State, etc.
There were set the tasks to define, study the conditions for the capital investments in the countries having friendly relations with Azerbaijan, make proposals on capital investments in what regions inside Azerbaijan should be encouraged, and the Participation of state in this regard. At the same time, the President gave serious tasks to create, strengthen financial order. There was set a question of financial distribution, expenditure of resources in the State administrations and institutions, and strengthening control under condition of increase in the budget.
The President added that the country already has wide financial capabilities, which will be rationally used firstly for the comprehensive development of the country, strengthening industrial potential, realizing infrastructural projects and increasing the standard of living of people. "Here is our basic directions, there is nothing new in this. We outlined these directions several years ago. For each sphere, there are special programs, there are the mechanisms of their performance. All these programs are reflected in the budget of Azerbaijan.
Thus, the decisions made by us and the promises given by us are personified into the life, even earlier than the appointed time. This is really great achievement, and in the forthcoming years, we should preserve high dynamics. Additional measures are taken regarding social protection," Head of State said. The country knows well that the expenditures on social development, aid to poor layer of society could be considerably more, we will not have such unhealthy problem as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which causes the need for the increased military expenditures, which are found in the first place in the expenditures of Public budget, the President said.
Furthermore, Aliyev said that large progress is observed both in the oil and non-oil sectors, the large-scale industrial projects initiated in recent years probably bring their benefits in the next 2-3 years, and thus our industry will become even more diversified. "Our basic purpose is to decrease the dependence on the oil and gas factor. As known, the necessary measures are taken for the development of non-oil sector, and I can say that the highest results have been achieved in recent years in the agriculture. Over the past six months of this year, the agricultural production increased by more than 10%. In the previous years this increase was measured by lower numbers. But as a result of taken measures, today we will speak about this - in the year we could attain significant increase. These measures bore complex character and they relate not only to the current year," said Aliyev.
At the conference there were organized special discussions on question of strengthening the policy of social protection of population. The President noted in his speech that the inflation has an impact on people, which live due to wage, on the pensioners. "From September of the current year, the base part of the minimum wage and pensions will be again considered to be increased," Aliyev said. In this connection, the State Head charged the government to pay attention towards strengthening the social protection of the population of the country during the preparation of the Public budget. At present, approximately 467,000 people in Azerbaijan obtain social aid. This covers nearly 100,000 families. There were set tasks to decrease the level of poverty to lower than the present mark of 16%.
During the conference the President of Azerbaijan also touched upon the problem of labor establishment and creation of new jobs. He noted the important social problem such as unemployment is gradually and rapidly removed in Azerbaijan. "Now in Azerbaijan who wants to work can be provided with job," the President of the country noted. Due to realization of the State Program on Social and Economic Development of Regions, which was approved at the beginning of 2004, more than 700,000 new work places, of which with more than two thirds are permanent, have been opened.
Furthermore, Aliyev added that now we not only must pay considerable attention to opening of work places, but also to be ready to the inflow of labor force into Azerbaijan from abroad. "For this purpose, State Migratory Service was created. I knew and saw in what direction this situation will develop, how the possibilities of Azerbaijan will be growing. According to available data that I have, in six months of this year, the inflow of foreign workers into Azerbaijan and cases of their obtaining permissions on work increased by six times," the State Head said.
In his speech, Aliyev noted the fact that Azerbaijan achieved great successes in the development of the information and communication sphere of the economy. "Within short time, we actually created a new sphere at high level. But today the discussions deal with the fact that we are on approach to the creation of the cosmic industry. This is reality, already there is a plan of specific measures for this, financial possibilities are determined. Soon two satellites in orbit will appear for Azerbaijan," he said.
Discussions were also held on the new sphere for Azerbaijan such as defense industry. Discussions also focused on onward development of the infrastructural projects, which received enormous spread in recent years.