BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 1
Azerbaijan has a very good investment environment. We demonstrated this both during the implementation of oil and gas projects and as a result of reforms carried out in other areas. A very good investment environment has been created, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview to the Azerbaijan Television after attending a groundbreaking ceremony of Alat Free Economic Zone, Trend reports.
“There are free economic zones in different countries of the world today. As I mentioned, in some countries this is due to natural conditions and geographical location. The practice of creating free economic zones in countries without access to the high seas has not been very successful. We have studied and analyzed successful and unsuccessful experiences. We believe that there are all the prerequisites for the attraction of investors to this zone in Azerbaijan. I think that, first of all, the geographical location of this place is favorable – it is located by the sea, next to the seaport, and it is a fairly large area. At the initial stage, 60 hectares of land are ready for development. However, a total of 850 hectares of land has been allocated. Land adjacent to this plot of land has already been earmarked so that no construction takes place there. This is necessary for future development,” the head of state said.
“Azerbaijan has a very good investment environment. We demonstrated this both during the implementation of oil and gas projects and as a result of reforms carried out in other areas. A very good investment environment has been created. It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan is ranked 28th out of 190 countries in the World Bank's Doing Business report. This is a great achievement on a global scale. We are ahead of many developed countries in terms of these parameters. In other words, a good investment climate is certainly one of the main conditions for attracting investors,” the Azerbaijani president added.
“Another important reason why we believe that investors will come here is the availability of modern infrastructure. We have been consistently creating this infrastructure for several years. Today, we can say with reference to authoritative international organizations that we have made great progress in this area as well. We know that potential investors are primarily looking at the World Bank's Doing Business report, as well as the rankings of the Davos World Economic Forum. In both cases, our advantage is obvious. Notice the places Azerbaijan is awarded in terms of the level of infrastructure projects. In the field of electricity supply, Azerbaijan ranks second in the world in the Davos Forum’s report. Just imagine that we are in second place on a global scale. We are in eleventh place for the efficiency of railway services and in twelfth for air transport efficiency. We share 24th and 27th places for the quality of roads. The Caspian Shipping Company is ranked 25th for the quality of shipping services. All these are great successes we have achieved. These successes ensure the dynamic development of our country today. Because major infrastructure projects have already been completed or are nearing completion. These are very important conditions for investors – investment environment and infrastructure projects,” President Aliyev noted.
“Also, a very strong human resource potential has emerged in Azerbaijan in recent years. Special attention is being paid to this area. The state has sponsored the education of thousands of young people in the world's leading universities. Most of them have returned to Azerbaijan and are working in various places. Azerbaijanis working in the oil consortia are already contributing to the development of our intellectual potential. There is the human potential that will attract investors,” the head of state added.
“Security is guaranteed in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is perhaps one of the safest countries in the world. This factor is also very important for investors,” the head of state said.
“The intercultural dialogue and religious tolerance in Azerbaijan are already cited as an example in the world. We want all countries of the world to come and invest here. This factor is also very important,” President Aliyev said.
“On the other hand, the existing stability in our country is one of the main conditions for every investor. No one would invest in countries without stability. This is an axiom. If we look at the experience of countries that are attractive in terms of investment, you will see this. One of the primary conditions, if not the most important one, for investment in Azerbaijan today is the public and political stability and the unity between the people and the government,” the Azerbaijani president said.
“Another important factor is that our words and deeds never diverge. In other words, we do what we say. We keep our word, and life has shown this many times. Very attractive conditions have been created for investors. It is enough to look at the oil and gas projects to see that not a single comma has been changed in the contracts signed since 1994. However, in many places, after a certain stage, countries try to revise the conditions in a way that suits them best. We did not do that. Because if we do that, we will scare investors away. In other words, all these factors and, of course, the victory we won in the second Karabakh war and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have already created a new situation. I think that long-term stability and peace are as clear as day for investors. I am sure that the presence of all these factors and our confidence will attract foreign investors to this zone,” the head of state said.