EBRD: Non-oil sector to play leading role in Azerbaijan’s economy
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 3
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:
The non-oil sector supported by fiscal and monetary policy will continue to play a leading role in Azerbaijan's economy in the medium term, according to the draft strategy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on its activity in the country posted on its website.
The strategy is designed for three years and covers the period from 2014 to 2017.
'The country's economic growth rate decreased compared to the pre-crisis period as the rate of production of hydrocarbons has slowed. GDP grew by 0.1 percent in 2011 against the background of a decrease of 10.6 percent in crude oil production. Its growth rebounded to 2.2 percent in 2012 and soft decline in oil production was more than offset by encouraging development of the non-oil sector at 9.7 percent where areas of construction and services took a leading position', according to the draft strategy.
Azerbaijan's economic growth as of 2013 amounted to 5.8 percent according to official statistics, while EBRD analysts expected this figure to be equal to 3.5-4 percent. In fact, the oil production volume increased by 0.3 percent (43.1 million tons), while the growth rate of gas production amounted to 3.8 percent (17.9 billion cubic meters of marketable gas), in 2013.
'Recent statements by the Azerbaijani government and BP suggest that the oil sector is expected to recover somewhat in 2013-2014. Gas production will grow significantly and mitigate a decline in oil production in the next period of the strategy', the draft stated.
The EBRD has allocated 1.577 billion euros to finance 138 projects in Azerbaijan from 1991 till late November 2013. The total cost has been 6.6 billion euros. About 35 percent of the bank's investments have been made in the energy sector, 33 percent in the financial sector, 21 percent in the development of infrastructure and 11 percent in the corporate sector.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.