Economy and Industry Ministry: Azerbaijan to continue to improve investment climate

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 27 /Trend E. Aliyev/

Azerbaijan has become a very attractive country for investing and will continue to be so in the future, Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy and Industry told Trend on October 25.

The Ministry said that in recent years the investments in Azerbaijan's non-oil sector exceed the investments in the economy's oil sector. In particular, some 35.9 per cent of investments were directed to the oil sector in 2003-2012, while 64.1 per cent were directed to the non-oil sector of the economy. Industry, construction, transport and trade are the most attractive sectors for the non-oil secotr's joint ventures and companies with foreign interests.

"Further development of the above-mentioned areas is envisaged in the future. Additionally, the country's status as an exporter of investments has consolidated and the area of investments has significantly expanded. During the past 10 years Azerbaijan has invested over $10 billion to the economy of foreign countries, such as Turkey, Georgia, Sweden, Romania, Moldova and others. The policy of consolidating the results achieved in the field of business development, improvement of the business climate for strengthening of these results, as well as support of small and medium businesses will be further continued," the Ministry said.

Measures which are expected to be adopted in this sphere will be used to further improve the business climate, accelerate the process of foreign trade operations, improve the system of licenses and permits on the basis of best global practices and optimization of their number, intensification of meetings with entrepreneurs, improvement of the mechanisms for the protection of entrepreneurs' rights, and the development of activities of the organizations providing consultation services to entrepreneurs.

These measures will increase the attractiveness of the business environment in Azerbaijan for foreign investors, as well as increase the competitiveness of the national economy.

The Ministry said that the progress made by Azerbaijan, is reflected in the reports of international rating agencies and financial institutions. Azerbaijan rose to 39th place among 148 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum, in the fifth consecutive year, maintaining leadership in the CIS area. High evaluation was expressed for the country's long-term macroeconomic stability and Azerbaijan took eighth place in this indicator. Doing Business 2013 report, prepared by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, included Azerbaijan's economy into the list of 15 countries that have been since 2005 consistently conducting reforms to improve the business climate.

At the same time, the Standard & Poor's international rating agency increased Azerbaijan's long-term sovereign credit rating to the level of "BBB -" preserving "Stable" outlook. Fitch Ratings agency has approved the long-term sovereign rating of Azerbaijan at "BBB-", and in 2012 Moody's increased Azerbaijan's rating from "Ba1" to "Baa3".

"Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park and Balakhani Industrial Park, which were created by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's instructions, will accelerate modernization and creation of an innovative economy, development of the non-oil sector and will strengthen its capacity, increase non-oil exports, while reducing dependence on imports, as well as accelerate the development of entrepreneurship in the country and will play an important role in increasing population's employment in the real economy sector," the Ministry said.

According to the Economy and Industry Ministry, taking into account the prospects of the development of traditional production areas in the regions, the availability of raw materials for the development of heavy industry and other spheres of the industry, including the activity of an aluminium plant in Ganja and the potential for light industry in Mingachevir, works are being carried out on the creation of industrial parks in these two cities of Azerbaijan.

"This will allow to give a new impetus to the development of competitive industries in these regions, ensure the sustainable development of non-oil sector and increase employment in the field of production," the Ministry said.

According to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's decree, dated October 22, 2013, Ministry of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan was established on the basis of the Ministry of Economic Development, with the aim of improving the structure of public administration.

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