Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 14 / Trend A. Akhundov /
The investments in Azerbaijan's economy exceeded $ 130 billion, Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev said at the Azerbaijani-Dutch business forum in Baku on Thursday.
"More than $ 130 billion, of which more than half falls to foreign investments, were invested in the country's economy as a result of the favorable investment and business sphere from 1995 up to now," Mustafayev said.
The minister said that about 70 companies with the Dutch capital operating in the Azerbaijani banking and insurance sector, construction, industry, communication, transport, trade, agriculture invested $365 million in the country's economy. In January-July, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 42 percent.
The perspectives of further expansion of economic relations between the two countries were discussed during a bilateral meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Economic Development, Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation Maxime Verhagen on Thursday.
Mustafayev said that at present, Azerbaijan has become an exporter of investments and significantly invested in Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.
"The role of the private sector in the socio-economic development, the share of private sector in the country's GDP is more than 80 percent," the minister said. "It reached nearly 100 percent in the agricultural sector. Azerbaijan is the political, economic and cultural center of the South Caucasus."
He said that the country's GDP tripled in 2004-2011, industrial production - by 2.7 times, the non-oil sector of the economy - by 2.2 times, the income of the state budget - by 13 times, while the unemployment rate fell by 1 8 times, the poverty level - by 5.9 times.
"At present, Azerbaijan's foreign debt amounts to 7.4 percent of GDP, foreign exchange reserves exceeded the external debt by almost 10 times," Mustafayev said.