BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 3
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Economic indicators of Azerbaijan for 2019 were generally positive and the best for several years after the economic crisis, PhD in Economics, professor Fikrat Yusifov told Trend.
If we compare the indicators of official statistics for 11 months of 2019 with the same period of previous years, we can clearly see how the situation has changed, the professor said, noting that as a result of the impact of the global economic crisis on Azerbaijan in the first 11 months of 2016, the country's GDP decreased by 3.9 percent.
"This was negative for a country where the highest economic growth rates had been recorded in those years. Nevertheless, the government managed to find possible ways to support the country's economy, and in a short time it managed to eliminate the consequences of the crisis," the professor added.
"As a result of measures and decisions aimed at further developing the non-oil sector, in 2017, the economic downturn was almost completely stopped, amounting to only 0.2 percent. Growth was achieved only in 2018. This meant that the reforms already yielded results. Nevertheless, the steps ahead were to achieve even greater results through such major changes as deepening reforms, reducing the share of shadow economy," Yusifov said.
"Basically, these goals were achieved in 2019. Azerbaijan's economy completed the year with the best figures over the past few years. We can say that positive results were observed in all sectors of the economy. Over the first 11 months of 2019, overall growth of the economy was 2.1 percent, including 3.5 percent in the non-oil sector, 14 percent in the non-oil industry and 7 percent in agriculture."
The professor stressed that this success was clearly reflected in revenues and expenditures of the state budget, which is a mirror of the country's economy.
"Thus, the budget revenues of 2020 will be higher than the actual revenues of 2017 by 7.6 billion manat ($4.4 billion) or 46.1 percent, and expenses, respectively, will be higher by over 9.3 billion manat (5.4 billion) or 53 percent. Such a high growth rate of budget revenues and expenditures over two years was achieved due to the fact that the country's economy has adapted to new growth rates, as well as positive steps towards reducing the share of shadow economy. The measures taken in this case, and the most important steps towards reducing the tax burden on the non-oil sector of the economy have led to the budget receiving additional funds in the amount of up to one billion manat ($588.2 million). Due to the intensifying reforms in this direction and the increasing effectiveness the steps taken, this year even greater budget revenues will be provided," Fikrat Yusifov said.
"Positive results achieved in the country's economy thanks to the reforms also allowed the state to take serious steps towards strengthening social protection of citizens. Last year, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to launch two major social packages providing for the strengthening of the social protection of millions of people. An amount of four billion manat envisaged to be allocated from the state budget for 2020 in order to finance the measures indicated in the social packages that the president signed, as well as to implement other measures for social protection," Yusifov said.
"In general, the share of social expenditures of the state budget this year is close to 40 percent. This growth as a whole demonstrates the social orientation of the state. The main factor determining these costs is economic sustainability and the effectiveness of reforms. Expenditures and budget revenues can be increased only this way," Yusifov said.