Minister: Azerbaijan shows high stability in crisis phenomena conditions in global economy
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.22 / Trend, A. Akhundov /
As of Sept.1, Azerbaijani strategic currency reserves exceeded $40 billion, which is eight times more than the country's external debt, Azerbaijan's Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev said at a meeting of chairmen and an annual meeting of the Tariffs/Pricing Committee of the Energy Regulators Regional Association (ERRA) in Baku on Thursday.
"Given conditions of the crisis phenomena continuing in the world's markets, Azerbaijan shows high stability," Mustafayev said. "So as of Sept.1 the ratio of external debt to GDP has reached seven percent," he added.
He said that over the past ten years, GDP in the non-oil sector grew by 2.8 times, while GDP as a whole by four times. "This means that today 70 percent of the economy of the South Caucasus countries accounts for Azerbaijan's economy," Mustafayev said.
He said that the income of Azerbaijan's population grew 6.3 times in ten years, while the poverty rate decreased by 5.4 times, from 49 percent to 9.1 percent.
"The country's proven hydrocarbon reserves give grounds for confirming that Azerbaijan will continue to play an important role in energy security in the global economy," Mustafayev emphasized.
Azerbaijan attaches a great deal of importance to regional and global cooperation.
"Pipelines exporting oil and gas from Azerbaijan bring together many countries in the region. If looking at the map, communication lines do not pass through only one country [Armenia]. The reason is Armenia's unconstructive position in the negotiation process in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Mustafayev said.
The ERRA, which includes the Azerbaijani Tariff Council, unites similar structures of Central Europe, Eurasia, and the U.S. The association was established in 2001.
The Association's tasks include support for regulatory organizations in member countries, facilitating experience and information exchange, and increasing research and the level of practical knowledge in educational and practical spheres.