Azerbaijan Government not Consider Necessary to Increase Oil Production with High Rates: Minister

Azerbaijan Government not Consider Necessary to Increase Oil Production with High Rates: Minister

Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 July / Trend , corr. I.Khalilova/The Government of Azerbaijan does not consider it necessary to increase volume of oil production during the next years with high rates in connection with a rise in oil prices, which gives an opportunity to the Country to support incomes at a stable level, said the Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, Heydar Babayev, said during Azerbaijani-Czech business-forum in Baku on 4 July.

According to the data by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), in 2008 the oil production in the Country will exceed 50mln tons, and in 2009 it is forecast in the volume of more than 60mln tons. According to the Minister, diversifying export oil supplies gives an opportunity to Azerbaijan to avoid any possible pressure in the future and is an important condition for ensuring economic security."The realization of projects in the oil and gas sector, which is considered the locomotive of Azerbaijan's economy, created durable basis for the sustainable development of the country for many years forward," said Babayev.

The budget of Azerbaijan increases each year, and it is a good indicator of Country's potential. As a result of 2007, it grew by 70% as compared to 2006. According to the Minister, hardly there is a country with such high rates of budget incomes, which create possibility for solving social and economic needs of the country and creating the corresponding infrastructure due to the effective use of these funds. According to the Minister, for the budget expenditure per capita, Azerbaijan occupies one of the first places amongst CIS countries, and the Country occupies a high place for this indicator on a worldwide scale.

Practically over the past two years, the gold-currency reserves of the country grew three times, exceeding $9bln. Babayev considers that even a larger increase is expected as a result of successful realization of the oil strategy this year.

"Government protectively approaches oil revenues, accumulated in the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, and they are used with large necessity via transfers through the Public budget," said Minister.

Realization of oil and gas projects also helped attract international investments into Azerbaijan. Over the period from 1995 to 2007, $42bln was invested into Country's economy. Only in 2007 total amount of the investments was $8bln, 70% falling on foreign capital. Today for indicator of the investments per capita, Azerbaijan occupies one of the first places amongst the countries of former Soviet Union and East Europe. At the same time, for the first time in 2007 the amount of internal investments exceeded external capitals.

The exchange rate on 4 July was 0.8097 AZN/USD.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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