Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 3 / Trend M. Aliyev /
Azerbaijan, by strengthening political and economic independence, has developed statehood, and created its own economic model based on the principles of liberalism and democracy Over the past twenty years, Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev said at the international conference "Azerbaijan 2020: A look into the Future" in Baku on December 3.
The conference has been organized by the Strategic Studies Center under the Azerbaijani President, the United Nations Development Programme, "PwC Azerbaijan" company and the Azerbaijani Youth Fund.
Mehdiyev said significant achievements have been achieved in reducing poverty and improving social welfare during this period.
"In fact, the success of Azerbaijan's statehood became possible due to the implementation of the principles laid by Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev," he said. "Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev's political course has supported the further prospects for development, integration of not only Azerbaijan, but also the whole region, into the world politics and economy."
Signing the "Contract of the Century" opened up new prospects for Azerbaijan, has created the opportunities for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan export oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline and other meaningful projects.
These regional initiatives have given a real significance to strengthening the regional countries, which have just gained independence.
Considering global and regional specifics, economic basis of political independence was formed as a result of the conducted policy.
After primarily resolving the problems with the economic and food security, Azerbaijan attached irreversible feature to the development of economic independence as a whole.
The dynamics of the most rapid economic growth in the world has offered the conditions for improving Azerbaijan's image in the regional and global scale, and turning it into a new geo-economic player.
By using its reserves, economic resources and opportunities, favorable geographical location, along with the development of its economic potential, Azerbaijan has given impetus to the regional cooperation.
Thus, Azerbaijan has created a model of new regional geo-economic power center, which can be exemplary for the whole world.
Considering dynamic socio-economic development, improvement of social welfare and progress of the diversification policy, the international rating agencies have objectively assessed the stable reforms in the country, by preserving Azerbaijan's rating at the investment level.
Presently, Azerbaijan holds leading positions in the CIS for its credit rating. Azerbaijan's achievements amid the global economic crisis, when the credit ratings of leading world countries have been declining, are the logical results of President Ilham Aliyev's continuing the economic policy, which was launched by Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev.
As a result of the president's policy, the average annual GDP growth rate in the country hit 14.2 percent, while 10.7 percent in the non-oil sector in 2003-2011.
In 2003-2011, country's strategic currency reserves increased by 25.3 times, the state budget by 16.6 times, banks' assets volumes by 10.4 times, nominal wages by 5.9 times, average nominal monthly pension by 6.1 times. The poverty level has decreased from 44.7 percent to 7.6 percent.
As a result of President Ilham Aliyev's policy, great success has been achieved in the areas of economic diversification and improvement of Azerbaijan's social welfare.
Thus, Azerbaijan has completed the transition period and amid the global and regional challenges, the country is on the threshold of a new stage both from 'qualitative and quantitative' points of views'.
A strong economy assembles the material basis for democratic development. The successful implementation of political and economic reforms in Azerbaijan has been aimed to ensure a sustainable development.
"Very important success has been reached in the areas of human freedom, development of democracy, establishment of a legal state and civil society," Mehdiyev said.
He noted that Azerbaijan has turned democracy into its political philosophy and has conducted the necessary reforms in a short period of time.
"These reforms, along with Azerbaijan's integration into the world community, serve to strengthen the internal stability. This is a success of national leader Heydar Aliyev's strategy and President Ilham Aliyev's activity," Mehdiyev noted.