Top official: Azerbaijan's long-term strategy envisages new development stage
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28
Political crisis observed in some parts of the world, worsening of confrontation between various poles, numerous conflicts from Syria to Ukraine and active participation of global forces in them, relate to a number of factors that cause the deepening of the global crisis, Azerbaijani president's aide for public and political affairs Ali Hasanov said in an interview with Trend, AzerTac and APA news agencies.
"Therefore, when talking about the crisis, which is observed today in the global economy, it is necessary to take three reasons as a basis, namely: reduction of global economy, existence of man-made factors affecting the price of energy resources and political cataclysms," he said.
"I am confident that in the current period of sharp fall of energy resources, Azerbaijan's strong financial and economic potential, efforts of the head of state and big opportunities of the government for maneuvering, will allow to soften the negative background, minimize the negative impact of the global crisis," he said.
Ali Hasanov also touched upon the need for devaluation and transition to a floating exchange rate of the manat in Azerbaijan. He noted that this was necessary. At the same time, he said that the current exchange rate is fair, and now cheapening of the manat doesn't seem to be convincing.
He went on to add that in the conditions of deep economic crisis, which has been going on throughout the whole world for a long time, Azerbaijan managed to keep the stable exchange rate of the manat and to ensure macroeconomic stability.
Hasanov added that it happened due to great importance devoted by Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev to social sphere, continuous improvement of people's welfare.
However, as Hasanov said, not only Azerbaijan, but none of the world countries, no serious financial and economic structure, predicted that prices for energy resources could decrease this much. At the same time, he said that it would be wrong to regard devaluation only as a negative phenomenon.
"International practice, experience of individual countries show that if at first, devaluation causes concern, leading to emergence of excitement among the population, at a later stage, it may become an impetus to the dynamic development of economy, as well as financial and banking system of the country," Hasanov said. "On the other hand, the devaluation has expanded the possibilities for maneuvering of the Azerbaijani government, created an opportunity for the adoption of additional measures in the social sphere."
He went on to add that at the conference dedicated to the results of the second year of implementation of "State program on socio-economic development of districts of Azerbaijan Republic in 2014-2018", Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev once again analyzed the current situation and future work, as well as set new challenges.
Ali Hasanov said that in short term, it was stated about the adoption of flexible measures in order to prevent a decline in the non-oil sector of economy and production, stop the dollarization process with the establishment of balance on the financial market, restore of public confidence in national currency, raise material welfare of citizens and curb artificial hike in prices.
He said that the strategy to be implemented in the long term, envisages Azerbaijan's entering a new stage of development based on the existing basis, taking into account international experience and covering all aspects of society's life.
Hasanov said that the development of transport and transit opportunities of Azerbaijan and the country's turning into a transit center of the region are provided for the post-oil period and are a transnational project, which is being implemented very successfully.
"Azerbaijan has the potential, which unites individual regions in the sphere of export of energy resources," Hasanov said. "Our export capabilities fully allow to do this. I think that after the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and TANAP projects are implemented, these opportunities will expand even more. The supply of cargo, energy resources from other regions through Azerbaijan to European markets and in the opposite direction will be further expanded as well."
Coming back to the situation that arose immediately after the devaluation, Ali Hasanov also touched upon the issue of protests that took place in different districts of the country starting from January 12.
He went on to add that in previous years, there were also attempts to organize local protests, using any event for that purpose, and then carry out similar protests throughout the whole country.
"Speaking in political terms, this can be described as an attempt of certain forces 'to probe the pulse of society'," he said. "Both organizers and participants of this process are known. It is clear that activists of some local opposition parties tried to organize protest actions in these districts."
"Moreover, an attempt was made so that it would look as "the people's discontent with government's policy," and that's why they "express their protest,"" he said.
"In fact, these "actions" involved a few people, and most of them were members and activists of opposition parties. It is possible that some ordinary people joined these "actions", under the impact of devaluation's psychological pressure."
"But it is a totally wrong way to present this as "dissatisfaction" and "protest" of the people," said Hasanov. "That's because extensive preventive measures immediately taken by the government to eliminate the negative effects of devaluation expelled all the scenarios that could lead to severe anxiety."
Ali Hasanov also said that the working group established at the request of the president of Azerbaijan at the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the country, which included representatives from 21 public authorities and structures, prepares a new Concept of employment.
"While Azerbaijani state and the president attach very big significance to this issue, private sector also must contribute to the further growth of employment," Hasanov said. "Banks, businessmen, if possible, should also make new investments in the economy of the country, contribute to even more rapid development of the priority spheres of the non-oil sector."