The conference Direct Foreign Investments and Development, dedicated to rewarding of Baku with award on nomination Baku -City of Future Investments of 2006-2007 in Western Europe, was held in Baku on Friday. It was organized by the Azerbaijani Fund for Facilitating of Investments and Export (AFFIE) under the support of the EU TACIS program. The competition was held by Financial Times- FDI Magazine. At the 1st stage of the competition Baku was announced the city of the future among CIS countries, where it competed with the cities of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia. At the 2nd stage Baku left behind Vilnius, Latvia, and Budapest, Hungary, and become a winner. The organizers took into consideration the best economic potential (GDP, investments), prices of rent offices, industry objects, lands, as well as value of apartments in new buildings.
Heydar Babayev, the Azerbaijani Minister of Economic Development, regarded the victory as a result of the achievements in the economic development of the country, establishment of conditions for attraction of foreign investments. According to Babayev, the taken measures caused poverty reduction by 29% on the results of 2005.
The Minister added that there are such projects in the country, implementation of which requires attraction of prestigious companies.
Valeh Asgarov, the Vice Speaker of the Milli Majlis [Parliament], who presided at the conference, mentioned putting of direct investments in oil and gas sector in the amount of $20bn from 1994. It promoted development of the industry, construction, transport and services sector.
Practice shows it is necessary to direct oil incomes to development of non-oil sector. Important directions for the country are production and refinery of agricultural products, as well as establishment of infrastructure - irrigative system, electric and gas networks, and development of science that promotes attraction of interior and foreign investments to the country, Asgarov stressed.