Finance minister: Azerbaijan pays special attention at cooperation with ADB
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, May 5 / Trend D. Azizov /
Azerbaijani delegation headed by Finance Minister Samir Sharifov participated in the 43-rd annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), held in Tashkent May 2-4. On Tuesday, Minister made a statement at a meeting of the Board of Governors. He met with ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.
"ADB President praised the efforts of Azerbaijan, aimed at achieving economic growth and socio-economic stability," Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said in an exclusive interview with Trend, speaking about the outcome of the Azerbaijani delegation at the Tashkent summit.
He said that the bank's management expressed its readiness to develop relations with Azerbaijan. Currently, ADB's Board of Directors approved two multi-trench loans to realize investment projects in transport and water supply - $500 and $ 600 million respectively for Azerbaijan.
"In June 2010, we look forward to signing the loan agreement for the construction of a 800-megawatt thermal power plant Cenub in Azerbaijan", minister said.
[ADB is ready to render guarantee support for up to 220 million euros for funding by foreign banks of this project. Total cost is estimated at 664.1 million euros.]
"Moreover, Mr. Kuroda said that the bank intends to send its representative to Baku," minister said.
[From October 2006 the ADB's office in Azerbaijan left without a representative.]
In his speech today at a meeting of the Board of Governors, Minister also discussed the issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Asian Development Bank.
"Azerbaijan attaches special importance to the continuation of cooperation with the ADB in infrastructure development. We are interested in the fact that the financial resources of the bank were also drawn to realize the state program of socio-economic development of regions (2009-13), approved by the Azerbaijani President last year," Sharifov said.
It was reported that 2009 was very complicated, as the global financial crisis, which began in 2008, made a negative impact on all countries around the world, including Azerbaijan.
However, timely actions were taken by the government. They allowed to maintain macroeconomic stability in Azerbaijan, ensure the implementation of targeted social programs and implement the planned targets in the area of economic development.
In particular, the real economy was supported through the National Entrepreneurship Support Fund and Agency on agriculture lending.
In particular, support was provided to the real economy through the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support Agency and the crediting of agriculture.
The Central Bank took measures to reduce the interest rate for the formation of additional liquidity in the banking sector. Moreover, the central bank reduced the amount of required reserves on deposits and increased the amount of insurable deposits via the Azerbaijani insurance fund.
In 2010, the tax rate on profits of legal entities was reduced from 22 to 20 percent, while the top income tax - from 35 to 30 percent.
"As the world economy overcomes the crisis, Azerbaijan got positive results. In 2009, economic growth in Azerbaijan in constant prices was 9.3 percent, which is very impressive figure in accordance with a number of international experts, minister said.
"We expect that the measures taken by the ADB to support developing countries in the region will continue. During the crisis, the ADB increased its funding by more than 40 percent, Sharifov said.
"We expect that the measures taken by the ADB to support developing countries in the region will continue, - said Sharifov. - In the crisis year of ADB increased its funding by more than 40 percent, and, as noted by all participants of the meeting, in this we see great merit management of the bank.
The ADB was established in 1966 and has 67 members. The headquarters of the bank is located in the capital of the Philippines - Manila. Azerbaijan joined the Asian Development Bank Dec. 22, 1999. Its share holding in the bank's capital amounts to 0.5 percent.
The ADB's leading shareholders are Japan and the U.S (31.2 percent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent), etc.