Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 20
Azerbaijan achieved big progress in social and economic development, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said addressing the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, held in New York.
“Since 2004, Azerbaijan’s economy grew more than three times. More than 1.6 million jobs were created in our country. The level of unemployment [in Azerbaijan] is one of the lowest in the world – 5 percent,” he said.
Ilham Aliyev went on to add that one of Azerbaijan’s priorities was the reduction of poverty.
“In 2004, the level of poverty in the country was 40 percent, now it is 5-6 percent,” he said. “Hard currency reserves equal to the country's GDP. Foreign state debt is less than 20 percent of the GDP,” he said.
Ilham Aliyev also reminded that Azerbaijan was assessed as leading reformer of the world in 2009 by the World Bank's Doing Business Report.
“Based on the Davos World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2016-2017, Azerbaijan is ranked number 37 among 138 countries,” said Ilham Aliyev.
He went on to say that in 2015, Azerbaijan received the 2015 South-South Award in recognition for its outstanding achievement in implementation of millennium goals, and since 2010 the country has been classified as a country with high human development.
Azerbaijani president also noted the rapid development of the country’s space industry.
“Two telecommunication and field observation satellites, AzerSpace and AzerSky, and the third one, AzerSpace-2 to be launched soon, made it possible for our country to become member of the world's space club,” he noted.
Ilham Aliyev went on to say that today Azerbaijan exports not only industrial and agricultural but also intellectual products.
“State agency for services and social innovation to citizens – ASAN Service, is a modern model of public relations and service,” said the president, adding that ASAN provides 251 services under one roof.
“Absolute transparency, zero tolerance to corruption and bribery made ASAN Service attractive to many countries,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Being a purely Azerbaijani brand, during 5 years of its service, ASAN provided over 1.6 million services to 5 million people, while total number of applications reached 17 million.”
“The rate of public appreciation of ASAN Service is 98 percent. In 2015, in recognition of its contribution to excellence, creativity and considerable simplification of delivery of public services, ASAN received the UN Public Service Award,” said the president.
He went on say that Azerbaijan’s policy is to make the lives of the country’s citizens better.
“Since 2004, the salaries grew in our country by 5.6 times. Pensions grew by 8.2 times. Without foreign financial support we built almost 100 new settlements and towns for refugees and IDPs (internally displaced persons), suffering from Armenian occupation,” Ilham Aliyev said.
“Until today, the living conditions of more than 250,000 people were improved and they were provided with new houses and flats,” said the president, adding that 152 schools, 59 medical centers, 60 kindergartens were built in these towns and settlements.
“In general, since 2004 more than 3,000 schools, more than 600 hospitals and medical centers were newly built and renovated,” he said.
The president went on to add that the level of literacy in Azerbaijan is close to 100 percent. Further, he said that every year, more than 5 million people, half of the country’s population, get their medical checkups, totally financed from the state budget.