Int’l financial organizations positively assess economic reforms in Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 21
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Oil-rich Azerbaijan is making progress in its drive to diversify sources of economic growth and improve its business environment, but needs to do more, say officials from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
“There is still a lot of work to be done, but the Azerbaijani government is taking measures to encourage the non-oil part of the economy to grow,” the World Bank’s country manager, Naveed Hassan Naqvi, said in an interview with Reuters.
“The World Bank expects the Azerbaijani economy to grow by 1-1.5 percent in 2018,” he said.
Naqvi said there were some signs of improvement in the business environment in the last 18 months, including simplification of visa regulations for foreign visitors.
Nariman Mannapbekov, the Asian Development Bank’s country manager, praised measures taken in the agriculture sector and the implementation of structural reforms to improve trade.
“We see good progress in the simplification of customs clearance, the introduction of electronic payments of custom duties, reducing the time period for getting some licenses,” Mannapbekov told Reuters.
He said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) wanted to see reforms in agriculture that were sustainable and results-oriented, and said the introduction of strong corporate governance at large state-owned enterprises would be “beneficial for the economy and its diversification.”
Mannapbekov said that in April the ADB might raise its forecast slightly for 1 percent economic growth in Azerbaijan this year.
Azerbaijan joined the WB group in 1992 and ADB in 1999.