WB Announced Expectations of Growth of Azerbaijan Non-Oil Sector

Business Materials 16 December 2006 13:17 (UTC +04:00)

The World Bank (WB) forecasts that the growth of the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan will be at the rate of 7-8% in 2006. Cristian Petersen, WB Leading Expert for South Caucasus, said that these expectations were based upon some shortcomings in the agriculture of the country, Trend reports.

According to him, the statistics over several past years in Azerbaijan shows that the annual growth in the non-oil sector has reached 13%. It even excelled the growth in the oil sector of the country over the preceding years.

The Bank concerns about the agriculture are first of all linked with the production of cotton and corn. I think that it is quite naturally, since Azerbaijani farmers are gradually turning to production of a more profitable species of plants, not fruits and vegetables. They will prefer cattle farming. That will enable to bring more profits, said Mr. Petersen.

According to him, the export of the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan is rapidly developing now. In comparison with the last year, the growth of the non-oil export in this year is expected to be at the level of 30 percent. However, it is necessary to exclude time-worn and out-date oil plants from the non-oil export, which were sold to Turkmenistan.

We observe positive tendencies in this field, particularly in the chemical industry. It is difficult to say whether Azerbaijan has already caught the Holland Syndrome or will catch it soon. I think that the situation must be under control. Analyses should be conducted every quarter and alarm system should be elaborated as well. WB is working with the Government and the Central bank of the Country in building this system, said the WB representative.