Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 24 / Trend /
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received participants of the Ministerial Conference dedicated to the 10th jubilee of the Central Asian Economic Cooperation Programme (CAREC) on Wednesday.
"Azerbaijan is an active participant in this authoritative international programme organization. Azerbaijan seeks to fulfill the obligations assigned to it under the Programme. I am confident that successful development of this Programme would serve deepening regional cooperation and contribute to ensuring peace and welfare in region," President Aliyev underlined.
President Aliyev noted economic reforms carried out in Azerbaijan in recent years yielded good results.
"Very serious programs are being implemented in Azerbaijan on three directions of CAREC, the president said. "Azerbaijan pays great attention to trade, transport and energy issues in the country. Initiatives put forward by us also serve expansion of regional cooperation."
According to President Aliyev, during the past eight years Azerbaijan's economic development has seen a high rate growth, gross domestic product has increased by three times, that is by 300 percent. Industrial production increased by almost threefold. Tens of billions of dollars has been invested in the country's economy.
Azerbaijan has excellent investment climate, the country has made great success in attracting foreign investments, he said. "At present, these investments are made not only in oil and gas, but also in non-oil sector, which is a priority of our current policy. This year recorded high development of non-oil sector - at around 9 percent. Of course, thanks to economic development the living conditions of people are also improving. Over the past eight years, poverty ratio in Azerbaijan decreased from 49 to 9 percent. Our foreign trade turnover is also increasing."
The Head of State stressed that thanks to the activity of the participants of CAREC and Azerbaijani Government, Azerbaijan's economic cooperation is developing successfully in bilateral format.
Azerbaijan's initiatives in transport sector are also of international in nature, he said. President Aliyev stressed new aircrafts are bought in the sphere of air transport. Transnational companies, which are engaged in cargo transportation in Azerbaijan, gained very positive image worldwide, the president said.
Additional measures are taken to develop sea transport, he said. "Ships, ferries and tankers are bought. Azerbaijan is implementing transit functions for some Central Asian countries. In the future, our role as a transit country will only grow. Of course, we are talking about transit of natural resources. Additional measures are taken to deliver non-energy goods to the western direction via Azerbaijan's territory. The largest international sea trade port on the Caspian Sea is under construction in Baku. A new shipyard is being constructed in Baku. Of course, products of the shipyard will be available to all littoral states, but at the same time, the shipyard will play an important role to fulfill non-Caspian countries' initiatives related with the Caspian Sea," President Aliyev said.
Energy sector is also an integral part of CAREC, he said.
"We have done much work in this sphere. Azerbaijan is an ancient oil country. But now Azerbaijan introduces itself to the world as a gas country. Gas reserves revealed by us over the past year hit about 600-700 billion cubic meters. Thus, our overall proven gas reserves amount to 2.6 trillion cubic meters. I have no doubt that these volumes will only increase in the future due to additional exploration and drilling operations," President Aliyev said.
He said Azerbaijan has done much work on the main directions of CAREC, the president underscored.