Details added (first version posted on 19:12)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29
Azerbaijan needs always to look forward and correctly organize its activities related to the work to be done in the upcoming years, said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev at a conference dedicated to the fourth year of implementation of the state program on socio-economic development of regions of Azerbaijan in 2014-2018, held at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku Jan. 29.
"The work done and the results achieved give us grounds to say that today Azerbaijan is a successful, rapidly developing country," the president said. "But we must not settle for the achieved success. We need always to look forward and to correctly organize our activities on the work to be done in the upcoming years."
President Aliyev reminded that a big shipyard was built in Azerbaijan.
“Today, we can produce all types of vessels,” the president said. “The shipyard is already fulfilling big orders. The Sea Trade Port in Alat is to be put into operation this year. It is the biggest international sea trade port in the Caspian Sea.”
“Without this port we could not become a transport center,” he added. “The commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a historic event. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a historic merit for Azerbaijani state and people. The railway is indeed the most important project meant for creating transport corridors in the region and Eurasia in recent years – which has been repeatedly stated and the public knows its importance.”
“This project is also very important for us,” President Aliyev said. “For several months now, cargoes from Europe and Asia, transported in different directions, are going via Azerbaijan.”
“While creating the North-South Transport Corridor, we have solved all issues in our territory in a short time,” the president said. “So, we have created excellent conditions for international cooperation.”
President Ilham Aliyev noted that the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines still provides a large amount of foreign currency to the economy.
"Where would we export our oil and gas resources, if these pipelines were not built? It would be impossible. No one would invest in our oil and gas fields, if there was no export potential. And the domestic market is small compared to our deposits. Therefore, these pipelines must have been built, and they were built under very difficult conditions, under pressure. Campaigns were conducted against us. No matter how many anti-Azerbaijani forces tried to hinder the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, they failed. We stood strong, showed strong will and implemented these projects together with neighboring countries. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has been operating for more than ten years. For over a decade, our gas pipeline has been transporting our gas to Erzurum. If there were no such projects, there would not be the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. If it was not realized, there would not be Shah Deniz-2. There would be no "Southern Gas Corridor" - a project worth over $40 billion. What would be our life then? What would be our economic situation? It's not so difficult to imagine,” President Aliyev said.
“Therefore, all these projects are a historical achievement for the people. We are proud that we have realized them. These projects at the same time create conditions for our long-term development. Today we have foreign currency reserves of $42 billion. Thanks to what did we get them? As a result of the export of energy resources. If the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was not built, there would be no such thing. Therefore, it is impossible to list all the work done during these 14 years in one speech. Several days maybe required to highlight all the work done. Today I just presented only the main points to the attention of the public," President Aliyev said.