Baku, Azerbaijan, May 19
If Azerbaijan had not attracted foreign partners to investing in the country in 1994, the overall economic situation in Azerbaijan would have been quite different today, said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
He made the remarks May 18 at the opening of a new semi-submersible drilling rig named after Heydar Aliyev in an offshore supply and logistics base of SOCAR’s Caspian Drilling Company.
“It is a significant day in the life of our country today. We are celebrating the commissioning of a new semi-submersible drilling rig. I heartily congratulate you and all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion,” President Aliyev said.
“This is a historic event for the oil industry of Azerbaijan because such a large drilling rig has not been built in Azerbaijan before. I congratulate all the people who took part in the construction of this drilling rig and express my gratitude to them. I am glad that such a huge facility has been built in Azerbaijan.”
The president said that the vast majority of people involved in the construction of this facility are Azerbaijani citizens.
“We are witnessing the successful implementation of yet another cooperation project with foreign partners. Of course, this is a reality because Azerbaijan has been successfully cooperating with foreign partners for many years. Foreign companies invest in Azerbaijan. And investment in this facility has been made by the state of Azerbaijan.”
“We channel our oil revenues also into such gigantic projects. The funds invested both by the State Oil Fund and the State Oil Company in this project amount to approximately $1 billion. In other words, it shows our strength and capabilities. It also demonstrates that the oil industry in Azerbaijan develops successfully,” said Ilham Aliyev.
“When foreign companies started to invest in Azerbaijan, one of our main conditions was that this investment should also serve the development of the oil industry, creation of jobs in Azerbaijan, high salaries for our employees, enhanced professionalism and training courses for them. We are seeing all this today,” he added.
President Aliyev noted that Azerbaijani citizens successfully participate in all major oil projects and bring huge benefit to themselves and the country.
“The creation of this rig is a historic event. It is no coincidence that the drilling rig has been given the name of great leader Heydar Aliyev. Heydar Aliyev is the founder of Azerbaijan’s modern oil industry. Today, the oil strategy of Heydar Aliyev is being successfully implemented,” he said.
“In 1994, the signing of the Contract of the Century marked the start of a new era in the oil industry of Azerbaijan. Along with this, important steps were taken to develop Azerbaijan’s oil industry under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev in the 1970s. Among them, the construction of the deep-water jackets factory began at the initiative of the great leader in the 1970s.”
“If that plant had not been built in Azerbaijan at that time – you must have heard that there were other options as well – then such a factory would have been built elsewhere on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It was thanks to the intervention and efforts of Heydar Aliyev that Baku was chosen for the construction of the deep-water jackets factory,” the head of state noted.
“Today, this plant plays an indispensable role in the development of our oil industry and the country as a whole. In other words, the modernization of oil refineries and the implementation of other projects in the 1970s served the development of the oil industry in Azerbaijan.”
“As for the period of independence, if we had not attracted foreign partners to investing in Azerbaijan in 1994, the overall economic situation in Azerbaijan would have been quite different today. The signing of the Contract of the Century in 1994 was a historic event. I remember those days quite well. We participated in negotiations together with esteemed Khoshbakht Yusifzade who is also present at this ceremony,” said Ilham Aliyev.
“We held talks in Istanbul in May and in the American city of Houston in July-August 1994 in order to secure the most acceptable conditions for Azerbaijan. At the same time, we wanted to make sure that foreign investors do not run away and also have good conditions.”
“I think that we achieved acceptable conditions for both sides. As a result of tense negotiations, the Contract of the Century was signed in September 1994 and is being successfully implemented today. If the Contract of the Century had not been signed, Azerbaijan could not have achieved such level of development. Everyone should know this,” President Ilham Aliyev noted.