Exclusive interview of Trend with the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Ahmet Muhammad Ali
Question: This is not your first visit to Azerbaijan. What were your impressions about Azerbaijan since the last visit to the country?
Answer: Indeed, I have visited Azerbaijan for several times and first I was in Baku when this country was a member of the Islamic Development Bank (Azerbaijan entered the IDB in 1992). I see a tremendous difference between the current Azerbaijan and the country that I saw in 1990s.
A big progress and upgrade of the infrastructure is observed in Azerbaijan now. It testifies that the country is in the right way. We wish prosperity to Azerbaijan.
Question: What are the perspectives for further development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the IDB?
Question: The conduct of a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) after Azerbaijans gaining a membership at the IDB the first among Central Asian countries - testifies for Azerbaijans steady will to come closer to the Islamic countries. So, there are special relationships between Azerbaijan and the IDB and our endeavor is to assist in financing all projects which it offers.
Question: What issues were on focus during the meetings with the senior officials of Azerbaijan?
Answer: The conduct of an investment conference was discussed in detail with the Minister for Economic Development. There was achieved a preliminary agreement to convene the forum in Baku on 7-9 November. The IDB has also undertaken a commitment on selection of investors depending on sectors defined by Azerbaijan. These will be sectors in more need of investments. The IBD will invite the investors interested in the sphere.
Question: Is the IDB considering the issue on opening of its representative office in Azerbaijan?
Answer: Over 3-4 months it is planned to open a small office of the IDB, which will be probable only for Azerbaijan and work under the supervision of the regional representation based in Almaty. The issue has been considered by the Azerbaijani government. At present Azerbaijan is working with the bank through the Almaty regional representation.
The cooperation between Azerbaijan and the IDB has been always active. The Banks attitude towards the country remains to be positive. The IDB today has three regional offices, which function in Almaty, Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia) and Rabat (Marocco), and 6 local representations.