The economic growth in Azerbaijan in 2009 to be 10 percent: Azerbaijani President

Business Materials 2 February 2009 18:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 2 / Trend /

The economic growth in Azerbaijan in 2009 is expected to be ten percent, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in an interview with Wall Street Journal. The interview was published on the Web site of Azertaj state information agency.

"Over the past five years from 2003 to 2008, GDP grew by 2.6 times, and last year's GDP growth rate amounted to 11 percent. We hope that this figure will remain at the same level, The President said.

The global crisis will affect the real sector of the economy of Azerbaijan, "export goods producers may face some difficulties".

"However, Azerbaijan has sufficient foreign reserves to assist export enterprises and plants. Over the past five years, many programs for provision of concessional loans to provide financial support to private businesses that will be continued this year have been implemented. And I do not see any serious problem for Azerbaijan," Aliyev said.

Reducing the price on oil on world markets will lead to a decline in GDP growth, as the bulk of exports are oil and gas, said Aliyev

"Prices will be lower, although exports remain the same. Meanwhile, there is great potential in other sectors of the economy, and reforms over the past few years have yielded good results," the President said. 

There is a good potential in the agricultural sector, but it was highest in small and medium-scale businesses. However, infrastructural projects are implemented successfully. GDP growth in non-oil sector in Azerbaijan amounted to 15.7 per cent, and this is the result of reforms, the President said.

"For me, one of the most important achievements over the past five years is an almost complete elimination of the problem of unemployment in the country and a significant decline in poverty," he added.

If in 2003 the poverty level in Azerbaijan was 49 percent, now it is estimated to 13.2 percent.

"This indicates that the energy policy is the correct distribution of resources and improves living conditions. There are still many problems, but there is a positive trend. The country has already gained in the region and its position in the political, economic and energy development has been a factor of stability," Aliyev stressed.