Baku, Azerbaijan, April 16
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of West in ensuring energy security, CEO of Caspian Group Holdings Rob Sobhani said in his article published in Washington Times.
He pointed out that a lot of positive changes have taken place in Azerbaijan since gaining independence.
“I first visited Azerbaijan in November 1990. Much has changed during these past 27 years and I have been fortunate to have witnessed first-hand the progress of this strategically important country with a rich culture.” said Sobhani. “Since its independence, life expectancy has gone from 64 to 71. When I first visited Azerbaijan, its GDP stood at a mere $8.7 billion. It peaked to $75.2 billion in 2014 and now stands at $37.8 billion.”
He noted that the story of Azerbaijan’s stable economic growth is what accounts for the improvement in the lives of ordinary Azerbaijanis.
“According to the World Bank, poverty rates have fallen from 49.6 percent to 6 percent today. And as poverty rates have dropped, more and more Azerbaijanis have seen their purchasing power increase, thus allowing them to transition to the middle class,” said the article.
Sobhani noted that without political and economic stability, Azerbaijan would not have been able to improve the lives of its citizens.
“Indeed, any Azerbaijani with whom I have spoken to has put a premium on stability (which explains why President Ilham Aliyev won with over 80 percent of the vote in a transparent election on April 11). They want to see their country remain stable and independent,” said the article.
The author pointed out that on the energy security front, Azerbaijan has been a reliable partner of the West.
“In fact, Washington and Baku share the same goal of uninterrupted exploration, development and transportation of oil and gas from the Caspian Basin to consumers in the West,” said the article.