Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend I.Khalilova / According to the review of Asian Development Bank (ADB) for 2007, phenomenal economic growth was recorded in 2006 in Azerbaijan, powered by soaring production and exports of oil and gas. Foreign investment, primarily for hydrocarbons, is beginning to taper off as large projects in the sector become operational. GDP leaped by 32% in 2006. The oil and gas sector, accounting for about 54% of GDP (a sizable rise from 42% in 2005), was the key contributor to the acceleration, as production and volume of exports surged by 48% and 60%, respectively, mentioned in the review.
This was mainly due to a production upsurge at the Azeri-Chiraq-Guneshi (ACG) oil fields and launching of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline.
Construction activities decelerated to 14% from 16% growth in 2005, because of the completion of the BTC pipeline and tougher government regulations on residential construction.
The trade account registered a record surplus of $7.9 billion in 2006, propelled by burgeoning oil exports, which contributed 84% of total exports. Total exports surged by 60.7%. Growth
in imports slowed to 4.5% in 2006, as machinery and equipment imports eased and investment in major projects wound down.