Azerbaijan, Baku, July 6 /Trend, A.Akhundov/
The strategic monetary reserves of Azerbaijan total about $40 billion, exceeding the country's external debt by seven times, the Economic Development Minister
Shahin Mustafayev said on Wednesday during a speech at the III Congress of World Azerbaijanis.
"Since 2000, Azerbaijan's GDP has increased by four times, over the past seven years, GDP and industrial production increased by three times," said the minister.
He said 20 years ago, both politics and economy of Azerbaijan were in chaos, and the annual rate of decline of economic development was 16-17 percent. Budget deficit was 13 percent, turnover decreased by 42 percent, the salary of the population - six times.
Since mid 1990s, the country started structural reforms in all sectors of the economy towards market liberalization, Mustafayev said.
"If 20 years ago, enterprises were not formed in Azerbaijan generally, today 80 percent of GDP is provided by the private sector, the minister said
According to him, large-scale projects implemented in the energy sector allowed to allocate funds to develop non-oil sector of the country's economy that is now one of the main economic policy priorities of Azerbaijan.
The minister believes that Azerbaijan will continue to implement further measures to preserve economic stability.
"Trade houses of Azerbaijan abroad must play an important role in the development of trade and increase of export opportunities for countries. Currently, trading houses of Azerbaijan are operating in Georgia and Turkey," said the minister.