WB: Diversification of economy is important to implement Azerbaijan’s great economic potential
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 5 / Trend A. Akhundov /
The diversification of the economy is very important to implement Azerbaijan's great economic potential, World Bank director of strategy and operations in Europe and Central Asia Theodore Ahlers said during the second forum on economic policy in Baku today.
"This is a very important issue, both in the global context and the scale of Azerbaijan," he said. "It is of particular relevance in terms of the current crisis in the world markets, where there are great uncertainties and it is difficult to predict anything."
He said that Azerbaijan has recently achieved great success.
"Azerbaijan has achieved great progress in reducing poverty, managing its resources, particularly oil and gas revenues, and so on," he said. "We are witnessing a reasonable expenditure of these funds. Azerbaijan's leading role in the EITI testifies to this."
He said that a forum will play a role in achieving these objectives. It is a logical continuation of the forum in 2009.
The main issues to be discussed at the forum are to improve the business climate in Azerbaijan, to establish common rules for business activity, as well as to form viable institutions necessary for a market economy.
Following the first forum on Azerbaijan's long-term economic development, held on October 21, 2009, the agreement was reached to prepare a plan of activities involving the diversification of the country's economy to further develop and conduct a new forum to assess progress and results.
The forum created the opportunity to begin a constructive dialogue about the diversification of Azerbaijan's economy. The preparation of own model of economic growth and balancing the dependence on domestic and foreign markets based on the experience of Ireland and Slovakia was proposed to the country.
Azerbaijan must dramatically increase non-oil export amid changing the economic climate and volatility of oil prices as a result of the global financial and economic crisis.
Azerbaijan is a WB member since 1992. The bank allocated $ 2.9 billion in financing 43 projects within the cooperation. The country ranks third in terms of the portfolio volume after Turkey and Kazakhstan.